Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Boston Red Sox and Nathan Eovaldi have agreed to terms. The contract terms are 4 years for $67.5 million. This is quite a haul for the postseason hero and hard-throwing righty, as up until his time with Boston, he was not viewed as a marquee arm on the upcoming free agent market.
However, after Boston acquired Eovaldi from the Rays on July 25th, his stock began to trend upward. The ability throw a 100mph fastball and then come back with an 85mph slider played well down the stretch. In twelve regular season appearances in Boston, Eovaldi posted a 3.33 ERA through 54 innings. He also managed his best strikeouts per nine innigs at 8.19 and best walk per nine innings at 1.62 in 2018.
Obviously, Eovaldi picked a good time to peak. But he achieved the status of legend in Boston with his incredible postseason run. Eovaldi deomonstrated incredible versatiltiy and will to win during his six outings in October where he posted a 1.61 ERA through 22.1 innings as a starter and reliever. He shut down the incredible lineups of the Yankees, Astros, and Dodgers. And yet, through his heroism in the wins in October, he is most remembered for the game he fell short in. With Boston’s pitching eviscerated, Eovaldi entered in 12th inning of Game 3 of the World Series after pitching the previous two games and gave Boston six innings of incredible relief until Max Muncy bested him with a home run in the 18th. His incredible performance ended in defeat, but he was greeted by his teammates at the top step of the dugout as LA mobbed Muncy at home plate. Boston used Eovaldi’s incredible outing as motivation and they won the next two games and the series.
This is a good move for Boston. Not only is it good because they are locking up a guy that routiney hovers around 100mph with his fast ball and has a clear championship mentality, but this gives them some actual stability in their rotation for the next three years. With Sale and Porcello entering the last year of their deals, Boston will know that the middle of their rotation—Nathan Eovaldi, David Price, and Eduardo Rodriguez—is locked in for the next three years to come. A move like this allows flexibility, and with the Hot Stove officially on look for that to pay dividends for Boston down the road.
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