Ten teams were reportedly in attendance on Sunday to watch Rays right-hander Nathan Eovaldi pitch in New York, and he didn’t disappoint. Eovaldi delivered seven near-perfect innings against the Mets, striking out nine (against no walks) and allowing one hit. The Yankees, Diamondbacks, Braves, Brewers, Cubs, Giants, Reds and Marlins had scouts on hand to witness the performance, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports, though he notes that all of them aren’t necessarily interested in Eovaldi. The Yanks and Marlins are already familiar with Eovaldi, who has pitched for both teams in the past. Miami’s not going to buy Eovaldi, though, as it’s well out of contention and he’s a pending free agent. But the Yankees are World Series hopefuls who need a starter, so perhaps they’d consider a reunion with Eovaldi. The 28-year-old has returned from 2016 Tommy John surgery to post a 3.35 ERA with 8.19 K/9, 1.12 BB/9 and a 48.8 percent grounder rate over 48 1/3 innings.
- More on the Rays, who are “closely watching” the Nationals’ farm system as the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline draws closer, Jon Heyman of Fancred reports. The Nationals are interested in Rays catcher Wilson Ramos, per Heyman, which jibes with an earlier report from Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. “There’s no sign” the Nationals have made any progress in trying to pry elite catcher J.T. Realmuto from the Marlins, Heyman writes, so Ramos may be the Nats’ best hope to upgrade behind the plate. Ramos spent 2010-16 in Washington and has landed back on the team’s radar amid what may be an All-Star season for the 30-year-old.
- With the Pirates having fallen to 41-48 since a good start to the season, “the optimism has turned to realism,” general manager Neal Huntington told reporters Sunday (via Jerry Dipaola of the Pittsburgh-Tribune Review). Huntington went on to explain that he projected the Pirates would win 78 to 82 games this year, but he was hopeful they’d exceed expectations. Instead, with the deadline looming and Pittsburgh nine games out of a playoff spot, the team looks like a seller in the making. Huntington will make a decision on the club’s direction in the coming days, it seems, as he noted that “this is one of those weeks where 4-4 doesn’t do us a lot of good. We need to make up some ground in a short period of time and we need to show we can continue to do that.”
- At 39-50, Cincinnati sits below Pittsburgh in the NL Central. But the two teams have been going in opposite directions in recent months, with the Reds having played respectable ball of late. As a result, they’re not necessarily inclined to sell this summer unless returns are compelling, president Dick Williams told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. “Really, almost the whole 25-man roster is controlled beyond this year other than (Matt) Harvey,” Williams said. “That puts us in a good position of not feeling like you have to do anything with guys. You can be opportunistic. We want to have a very successful second half. We believe we’ll have the players here to keep this momentum going.” And even though the Reds have turned things around since firing manager Bryan Price on April 19 and replacing him with interim skipper Jim Riggleman, they’re not ready to hand the reins to Riggleman on a full-time basis, per Williams.