In a few short hours, hard-throwing righty Nathan Eovaldi is set to make his third consecutive Opening Day start for the Red Sox, against the Yankees. As Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic notes, Eovaldi is in rare company in doing so. The 32-year-old Eovaldi told reporters yesterday that while the Red Sox did not approach him about a contract extension during spring training, he’d be willing to negotiate in-season.
Eovaldi’s current contract, a four-year, $68MM deal, was something of a new standard when it was struck with Dave Dombrowski 36 days after the team’s World Series parade. A veteran of two Tommy John surgeries who had limited innings in the years prior, Eovaldi was still able to score a fourth year given the buzz around him at the time.
Eovaldi has mostly answered health and durability questions since then, and has also posted career-best strikeout and walk rates. Still, he’ll pitch in the first year of a new contract at age 33. He’d be justified seeking a new contract at least in the range of the $23.67-25MM AAV achieved by Marcus Stroman and Justin Verlander this winter. The comparable Eovaldi will likely be pointing to age-wise: Hyun Jin Ryu’s four-year, $80MM deal with the Blue Jays, which also began with Ryu’s age-33 campaign. The two bear little similarity otherwise, as Eovaldi’s 96.9 mile per hour average fastball velocity ranked fifth among qualified starting pitchers in 2021.
Red Sox chief baseball office Chaim Bloom had avoided large and long-term contracts in his 29-month tenure with the club until signing Trevor Story for six years a few weeks ago. If Eovaldi does insist on four years and the Red Sox let him reach the open market, he could be joined by free agent starters such as Chris Bassitt, Mike Clevinger, Jacob deGrom, Zach Eflin, Clayton Kershaw, Sean Manaea, Joe Musgrove, Carlos Rodon, Noah Syndergaard, and Justin Verlander.
4/85 million, get it done, Maybe a fifth year with cumulative innings requirements, I know this they can’t afford to lose him
So you want to pay $21,000,000 per year for ages 33,34,35,36,37 for a guy with 2 Tommy John surgeries who is good because he throws almost 97 mph? Do you think he will still be throwing 97 mph at age 35,36, and 37?
Yes, sign Eovaldi, but three years plus two option years or four with one option is much more likely…..maybe the option years will give a higher average annual salary.
I wouldn’t even give him 3 years for all those reasons you laid out. 2 with an option seems fair
Fever Pitch Guy
I’d go with 3 years/$75M plus an option that kicks in after a certain number of IP, and a guarantee that Vazquez never catches him again. I think that would do the trick.
I’d give him 4/85 before the 80m deal Detroit gave to ERod. Eovaldi has shown consistency, well when he is healthy the last 4 seasons since learning to use the cutter and that 97+ FB mentioned is straight as an arrow, not his K pitch.
Eovaldi has 4 really good pitches, that cutter and curve, plus throws strikes, averages less than 2bb per 9IP. He’s one of the guys, who believe will lose that 97 like u mention, be around 93-5 by age 36-7 and still be an ok pitcher if his arm stays ok, which is the question.
I remember him well from his days as a marlin and was always hitting triple digits, but also getting hit. different guy with that cutter and learning how to pitch. Hope Bloom can get him on a 3-4y deal at around 20m aav.
the problem with that argument is the when he’s healthy. He’s missed significant time over the course of his career and times where he wasn’t he’s been solid to good. Also the consistency you speak of isn’t there over the course of his career and over the past 4 years
Eovaldi is the most important piece to sign given the state of pitching. He’s now proven in my eyes he’s healthy and his injury risk is not higher than others. issue is his age and ability to throw hard at the end. That’s why he’s developing other pitches. I thought it would take more. Sign him 4 x $80-85m with an opt out after the third season. Sox can afford to lose a hitter but do you think Sale will be better than his last when he tired every September? Pivetta, Houck and Whitlock could all be great but NE is their number one. Just get it done.
That’s a massive overpay if you go 4 at 80. Sox can ill afford to lose either Boegarts or Devers at this point. I’m not sure how you can say that two season removed form him missing half the season with his prior injury history that he’s proven healthy. Panicking and overpaying NE as you call him would be a terrible move.
Story was signed understanding either could leave. Pitching ai scarce.
Eovaldi is good because he throws 5 pitches at least 10% of the time. Let’s not make like he’s just a guy that goes out there and tries to blow it by everyone he sees. He’s a pitcher not a thrower. He’ll obviously have a velocity dip as he gets older, but it’s not like he’ll be all of a sudden be awful.
See problem with that is if red Sox don’t give at least 4 years he can wait til season over and he has a very good season at that he will get 5 years just how it is in baseball now , where 40 year olds get 2 year deals
I would do 4/80. For all of those people saying 2 and multiple options; if he pitches anything like last season he gets a 4 year deal easily in free agency
then let him get that from someone else. Resigning him should be far down on the list and it’s fair not trust him to hold up given his history.
Wrong down the list? Starting pitching is premium. Banking on Sale? I’m not and his deal ends next year Pivetta, Houck and Whitlock are all good with potential to be more than just good. NE is their ace. If given a choice (hope it doesn’t happen), I want him extended before Bogie. Story can slide back to shirt and Yorke might even be ready next year. I want Bogie back but Eovaldi is more important.
I’m not banking on Sale at all. Just pointing out that I’d prioritize both Devers and Boegarts way ahead of him. Further, he’s not an ace. Maybe for this team but not in general which speaks more to the issues the red Sox have with their pithing than anything else. Pitching is always at a premium and I wouldn’t want to invest that many years in a 33 y/o pitcher with injury history and an above 4.00 ERA.
all in the suit that you wear
I would wait until the end of the season before offering him a new contract. Let’s see how he holds up this season. If he was younger, maybe look to get a deal done now, but that is not the case.
Give him 7 years … hahaha
I thought his Red Sox deal wouldn’t turn out well when it was signed, but it’s turned out to be a solid win for the team over the past two seasons. Past performance, however, doesn’t guaranteed future performance. Depends on the terms.
4/80, with $20 million team option for a fifth year, or a $5 million buyout? I think a higher AAV with less years is fine too. Eovaldi has proven to be quite reliable the last couple seasons, and he seems to like playing for Boston. Would love to see him stick around.
He’s was reliable LAST season. Over his career he’s unfortunately been injury prone. 4 at 80 would be a massive overpay.
He’s been mostly reliable since they got him. Remember game 3 in 18 before he re-upped? He’s proven himself health wise although no one has a crystal ball.
Remember 2019 after he re upped? he was hurt for half the season and terrible the other half.. He has not been mostly reliable. what amounts to a season and half of stats is not enough to prove health especially given his track record.
If he proves it to your level, the price becomes $25m per at least.
Why do some players not want to negotiate during the season? Cuz it’s a distraction? I’m not extremely knowledgeable about contract negotiations but I’ve always assumed the player’s agent does most of the actual negotiating anyway.
It’s about having to talk about it with 5 interviewers each day that gets on their nerves. Much easier to say “I won’t negotiate once the season begins.” Of course, negotiations with the agent most likely are ongoing. Private by nature, contract negotiation should remain confidential.
a couple of reasons. often players say that forleverage for themselves creating a deadline to get things done before. Also regardless of the agent negotiating they player still has to sign off on the deal. They aren’t complete bystanders in the process and at least have to approve or reject offers etc.
It’s mostly to get the reporters off their back and a leverage truck but negotiations often still go on quietly
Gumby – Lots of guys go to sleep thinking about what they could do at the plate or on the mound to improve. The fear that contract numbers will interrupt their sleep patterns is real. As a non-player, if you knew your contract was up for renewal I think you would react the same way. You wouldn’t necessarily be disrupted at work but when your head hits the pillow, it’s going to be the first thing you think of. That loss of quality sleep might impact your performance so clearing yourself of that distraction is a smart way to go.
John Rocker Fan Club
I wouldn’t go past 50mil for him. Two Tommy John surgeries already and his velo is bound to go down as he ages.
I think 2 years $50,000,000 is reasonable. Eovaldi would want an option for a third year which the Red Sox would be happy to exercise if he is still producing. I have occasionally scene two option years with buyouts after each, and Bloom likes to get creative.
He’ll get much more guaranteed on the open market.
Do not sign this guy to a long term extension. It would not end well. There were even questions to his last deal when he was younger, they’re going to give him another one as he’s older? No way.
Starting pitching needs to be younger and drafted guys. You use free agency for position players and plugging in holes at the back end of the rotation. Paying a guy front line Money times 4 years doesn’t work out more often than it does. I don’t like the thought of Nathan Eovaldi with the Sox for four more years after this.
It’s worked out this last time and he’s shown no signs of letting up. He also has far less mileage on his arm for his age due to the TJ surgeries. Provided he passes a physical, he’s my number one sign during the season.
LMAO how many SP have the Red Sox drafted and developed into decent starting pitchers? Most recently? Lester and Buchholz… help me out here because I can’t think of any others…
Help you out? You’re making my point exactly. Start drafting pitchers.
The guy’s a horse. I hope they keep him.
I think I have a different idea on the definition of a horse. The only time I would consider this guy a horse in the last 6 years is last year.
I didn’t realize he was hurt in 19. Regardless, he’s their number 1
Eovaldi will likely cost the Sawks about $22-23 million a year for 4 or 5 years. Is he worth that?
At least Nate’s honest about the whole thing. OF COURSE they negotiate during the season. They’d negotiate between pitches if they could.
Congrats to Nate.
When the player is in the position of power and holds all the cards he can determine when he will speak about a new deal. Maybe in spring training but if it doesn’t get done then that’s it.
A guy like Nathan Eovaldi holds no cards. He’ll be open to negotiate whenever the sox are ready. During the season, fine. He really is not in a position of strength outside of Boston.
The Red Sox would be BIDDING AGAINST THEMSELVES if Eovaldi took a Hardline of spring training negotiations or nothing !!
Nathan’s not a dummy. Sox hold the cards here and if they want to present an offer sometime during the year then that’s perfectly fine with him.
Are you kidding Gary? No cards? Another season like last and he’s looking at $100m+ four at least four years.
I hear what you’re saying but given the track record of just his last six years, he’s only done it once. You’re assuming a lot that it’ll happen again this year.
My opinion it was the right choice to not negotiate a new contract this winter. Let’s watch how he performs this season and then talk about a new contract. If he likes it here and the money is the same he’ll sign here.
no one is giving him 100 over 4 at his age with his injury history. None of the pitchers that signed massive contracts aside from Scherzer who is a true ace 33. In fact I’d take Marcus Strowman over him, he’s 3 years younger has a much better track record than Eovaldi, has pitched in the ALE, and signed for only 3 at 70.
Gary – I think you have the wrong take on why one guy sets a deadline and the other doesn’t. It’s a power move. Guys like Devers want to be the shot caller and guys like Nate check their ego at the door and say lets talk.
Nate looks at it as if playing baseball is a privilege that he’s thankful for and guys like Devers think of baseball as a way to gain fame and fortune. Nate is a rare dude. A humble baseball player. He goes out and does his job and when he’s hurt he feels bad that he can’t play. Not for the accolades but because he feels he’s letting the team down. He took the abuse from fans when he got injured in 2019 and when he recovered he pitched extremely well. I think he’s done everything a team would want out of a player. Now he’s flexible in negotiating!! It’s called CHARACTER. Something guys like Devers sorely lack. I truly believe if Nate or Sale were in Devers’ position they would have asked to be moved to DH to help the team instead of fighting it and killing the pitching staff with their ineptitude.for 5 consecutive years going on 6.
Pay Eovaldi. He’ll be reasonable because he likes Boston and considers it a privilege to play for the Red Sox.
He is looking for 4 years & if getting to free agency helps achieve that then I see him going that route. Maybe 3 years & a higher AAV MIGHT get it done.
I would go 3 years with a slightly higher AAV. 3 years/$82M. Turn that original deal into 7 years/$150M. Seems like a great value for both player and team.
Little-known fact: Pivetta was in “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” under a stage name: