The deal for Nathan Eovaldi is one of the best Red Sox trades this season. Eovaldi will be a free agent after the postseason ends, but should the Red Sox try to keep him in the starting rotation?
The 28-year-old may be a much-needed righty in the rotation with good velocity, but he has a history with injuries that could be a downside to signing him. Despite only being in the Majors since 2011, Eovaldi spent three separate stints on the 60-day disabled list. He went over a year without pitching in the big leagues after having Tommy John surgery in the middle of the 2016 season.
While Eovaldi only started ten games since fully recovering from Tommy John surgery Dave Dombrowski took the risk of trading for Eovaldi, and this risk may have found the Red Sox a long-term right-handed starter. He may not exactly be an ace pitcher, but Eovaldi has been helpful during his time with the Red Sox. He started 11 games and sported a 3.33 ERA, but kept a fairly high 1.278 WHIP with a 3-3 record.
Eovaldi had a good start with the Red Sox, pitching 15 shutout innings over his first two starts. However, he struggled during most of his starts in August. Besides the eight-inning shutout during his second start, Eovaldi only had one other start in August where he allowed less than three runs and two starts in which he pitched less than three innings. While the Eovaldi trade was starting to look like a bust, he began heating up again and has yet to cool down. During September, Eovaldi made four starts and one bullpen appearance, only giving up three earned runs throughout 20 innings.
While three earned runs in 20 innings are good, the highlight of Eovaldi’s season has been his start in the American League Divisional Series against the New York Yankees. With the series tied at 1-1 going to New York, the pressure of starting Game 3 was up to Eovaldi. Not only was he pitching against the team’s biggest rival in a tied series, but it was also the first postseason appearance of his career. Eovaldi pitched seven innings, only allowing five hits and kept the Yankees to one run.
If Eovaldi continues to pitch well in the postseason, a contract with the Red Sox will become more and more likely.