Aside from Carlos Correa, whose agreed-upon deal with the Mets is on hold as his camp and the team try to sort out renewed concerns regarding the shortstop’s physical, Nathan Eovaldi is the highest-ranked player from MLBTR’s top 50 free agents who has yet to put pen to paper. He’s also the only unsigned player who’d turned down a qualifying offer.
A few teams have been tied to the former All-Star starter. Last week, Rob Bradford of WEEI reported the Padres, Angels and an unnamed American League East club were in the mix. It doesn’t seem that team is the incumbent Red Sox, as Bradford has suggested on a few occasions this offseason Boston doesn’t appear especially motivated to retain the right-hander.
The Padres have already made a couple rotation moves, re-signing Nick Martinez and adding Seth Lugo on a two-year pact. They’re presently slated for the final two spots behind Joe Musgrove, Yu Darvish and Blake Snell. There’s still a fair bit of downside in that group, with neither Martinez nor Lugo having much recent track record as an MLB starting pitcher. Both Martinez and Lugo have the chance to opt out of their deals after the 2023 season (albeit only if the Padres first decline a two-year, $32MM club option in Martinez’s case). Darvish and Snell are each ticketed for free agency after next year, leaving Musgrove potentially as the only long-term rotation building block. Headed into his age-33 season, Eovaldi’s not likely to receive a significantly long investment, but he figures to command multiple years and could help solidify the post-2023 rotation in San Diego.
Anaheim already has a solid front five. Shohei Ohtani is the ace, while Tyler Anderson was brought in on a three-year free agent deal to add to the middle of the staff. Patrick Sandoval, José Suarez and Reid Detmers round out the group, with all three young southpaws having pitched well down the stretch in 2022. The Angels have frequently relied upon a six-man staff in the Ohtani era, though. Even if they’re planning to go with a five-man group to maximize Ohtani’s workload next year, there’s merit to bringing in another stable arm who can add some injury insurance.
Aside from San Diego and Anaheim, reports of known suitors for Eovaldi have been few and far between. The Yankees and Blue Jays were linked to him earlier in the winter, but those clubs have since signed Carlos Rodón and Chris Bassitt, respectively. New York now seems likely to be out on Eovaldi entirely, with Rodón joining Gerrit Cole, Luis Severino, Nestor Cortes and Frankie Montas in the starting five. Toronto could fit for a rotation pickup on paper given the uncertainty associated with José Berríos and Yusei Kikuchi/Mitch White at the back end. Yet they’re already projected for a franchise-record payroll, and general manager Ross Atkins told reporters over the weekend he believes the team’s “hefty lifting is done.”
If one assumes the Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays aren’t the unnamed AL East team involved in Eovaldi’s market, that’d leave the Rays and Orioles. Baltimore is the better fit, with Tampa Bay having inked Zach Eflin to a $40MM deal to bolster an already quality rotation. Baltimore entered the offseason seeking starting pitching. Thus far, they’ve swapped in Kyle Gibson for Jordan Lyles in the veteran innings eater role but haven’t made the kind of mid-rotation or better addition most had anticipated. Baltimore has some rotation options — i.e. Tyler Wells, Kyle Bradish, Dean Kremer, Austin Voth and top prospect Grayson Rodriguez — but it’s a group light on MLB experience.
A few other teams make some sense as speculative possibilities, albeit as imperfect fits. The Rangers have added four starters already this winter, though they could at least consider another arm to push both Jake Odorizzi and Dane Dunning into depth roles. The Twins have ample payroll space amidst a quiet winter. Rotation help isn’t a need per se, but adding Eovaldi would help guard against some of the injury question marks with the in-house staff. The White Sox may not have any additional spending room after their five-year commitment to Andrew Benintendi. If they do have some money to play with, though, another starter would fit on the roster. The Dodgers could look to fortify their rotation with Walker Buehler missing most or all of next season. There’s room on paper for Eovaldi but they’d have to exceed the luxury tax threshold, which they don’t seem eager to do, in order to add him.
Where does the MLBTR readership anticipate Eovaldi winding up?
(poll link for app users)
Mets after Correa goes to the Twins on a 3 year deal with 2 player opt outs.
Did Blake Snell have the biggest fluke year ever when he won the Cy Young in 2018?
In recent times I’d agree hippy
Not really. You’d say that if you haven’t watched him at all in the past 3 years and only look at his season stat line. He’s had some absolutely dominant periods where he’s been virtually unbeatable. The problem has been he hasn’t been able to do it for more than half a season at a time, and the other half has generally been a disaster, leading to average or worse overall season stat lines. But when you watch him in those stretches, you can see exactly how he’s good enough to win a Cy Young if he can maintain his ability for a whole season. That’s just what happened in 2018.
Agree, as maddening as he is to watch, he can be dominant for stretches.
A fluke for consistency and health, maybe, but the guy is unhittable when he is on. I had him on a couple of teams last year. He showed up, he got hurt, and then showed up in pitched badly. The woke up and had a 2.53 in the final four months, with a 133/32 K/W in 92.2 IPs.
he’s notoriously bad in spring, then heats up and becomes dominant in summer. The Pads would be wise to dream up fantom ailments in spring to find a spot on IL then, rather than pitch him.
If an era+ between 92 and 127 while topping out at 128 innings is a cy young to you then we will have to agree to disagree.
If this if that when he’s on/healthy yada yada
All he said was when on, you can see why he had a CY season. Like last year – 2nd half: 2.19/1.02, 12.1 k/9, 5.25 k/bb 2.23 FIP 2.73 xFIP… that’s CY caliber performance, but he can’t seem to do it for a full season anymore.
Yeah, you just ignored their entire comment and gone off because you’ve already made up your mind without really looking at the stats or understanding them. Everyone acknowledges he doesn’t do it over the course of a whole season. That’s not what people are saying though. His 2018 season was cy young worthy, and he has a few 5-6 game stretches of that quality each season, but he doesn’t keep it up for a whole season. He then has a handful of disaster outings where he’ll give up like 6 runs in the first few innings, and it makes his overall season stat line look awful.
For example, last season he had a 4.80 era and a 6.20 era in May and June, but then a 2.81 era in July (which included a 5 run 3 inning effort on 4 hits), a 2.81 era in august (which included a 6 run 3 inning effort with 3 homers), a 2.17 era in September (which included a 5 run 4 inning effort), and a 1.50 era in October (before running out of steam in the playoffs).
He sure hasn’t deserved a cy young since, but that talent is clearly still there. He just needs to find a way to do it for 180 innings and stay healthy, and cut down on the random blowouts.
I was a bit rude, apologies. His cy young season is a real outlier as of now in his career imo
If he is cold in the spring and heats up in the summer it’s more than likely his arm just takes several games to completely loosen up. I was a college pitcher back in the day and the first 4-5 games I would pitch in would be disastrous. Once my arm got loose for the year I could shut down any team for a few innings. Then my arm fell apart and I have been a spectator since. That was back when TJS was still seen as a risky surgery. It was akin to Thoracic Outlet Syndrome surgery now. Where some players came back and pitched like be ore but most didn’t.
I like the O’s as a fit for him, but I hope the Red Sox resign him
Randy Red Sox
next to ZERO chance Bloom can oent Henry’s wallet unless Eovaldi is willing to take a 1 yr deal for 5 million MAX
all in the suit that you wear
I doubt Eovaldi can make it through the year. He will be fully ramped up in March pitching in the World Baseball Classic. I don’t really want him back in Boston. If the Red Sox want to tank, Eovaldi may help get that result by being on the IL.
I’m not real keen on Eovaldi’s health. But it feels like Bloom is painting himself into a corner. I like the signings so far, but assuming Turner comes in at say $12M for AAV, then the RS have $36M left to spend.
The number of options to spend that $36M are now limited. If it is not spent on say Eovaldi & Segura, where do you spend the money?
all in the suit that you wear
Joe: I see what you are saying. Do you have any preference between Eovaldi and Kluber?
Randy Red Sox
You worry about his durability, but a lot of teams would like to have Eovo.
Boy Caught MLB TR
The Rangers do not need to waste another draft pick in the 3rd round. Last year, they had only a 1st round and a 4th round pick, and they ended up taking a high-risk approach; however, this time, there are must-draft outfielders like Dylan Crews, Wyatt Langford, and Max Clark, along with Walter Jenkins as a backup. I fear if they give up a pick, they will screw themselves by trying to load their farm instead of drafting for need with top players. The 1st, 3rd, 6th, and 7th picks are all outfielders, so they aren’t stooping low like they did with Rocker last time.
Boston Local Media is very good at dismissing anything positive related to the Red Sox, so I would take Bradford with a hefty amount of salt.
Bradford’s a quality dude… also gets a lot of 1-on-1’s with players – interviews/podcast, etc
Could be as simple as him doing right by a guy and trying to stir up his market
Confused why Boston wouldn’t want to retain him, now that they’ve missed on much of the starting pitching market and have extra cap room.
Mostly because he’s not clearly better than who they have slated for the rotation right now, he has injury concerns they saw up close throughout last season, and they know with the QO attached other teams aren’t going to be in a rush to sign him so they can take their time and let market pressures play out. If Nate is still unsigned by the middle of January Boston may try to bring him back on a cheap incentive based deal.
40% of their projected rotation combined to throw 5.2 ip last season
Huh? How’d the other 60% do?
And? If you think that’s all they’re going to get out of those 2 again this year you don’t really know much about the game.
Eovaldi pitched 109 innings in 2022 or $185,000 per inning. For that bargain price he gave up 21 HRs or 1.73 HRs per 9 innings (for those of you who do not know – that sucks). Between his diminished velocity, and his injury packed history, I would rather have Kluber.
Eovaldi may come crawling back to the Red Sox when the qualifying offers kills his market, and no team wants to give up a draft pick or two for him.
all in the suit that you wear
I’ve been thinking for a while that Kluber makes sense or maybe Michael Wacha.
Eovaldi is four years younger than Kluber. He still averaged 95.9 in 2022, or more than 6 mph higher than Kluber, who has also experienced velocity decline. He again had one of the lowest BB/9 among starting pitchers in MLB. He had a better season in 2021 – a nearly six win season – than anything Kluber has done since 2018. His xFIP in 2022 was almost identical to his xFIP during that 5.7 WAR 2021 season. I think there are other fine mid to back end starters left on the market, but Eovaldi has a much stronger case for being at the top of the market than he’s being given credit for. I don’t see a better (if outside) shot at a 4-5 win season amongst remaining starting pitchers, do you?
Rhs- The team who signs a pitcher is signing them for2023, not 2021. Eovaldi is not the same pitcher as 2021, and he will require compensation from the QO. The draft pick and money given up are not nothing. Eovaldi’s velocity was diminished after he returned from his multiple trips to the DL/IL. It will also depend on what his contract demands are.
all in the suit that you wear
rhswanzey: You may be right. At this point I am looking at who is more likely to stay healthy next year. I think Kluber has a better chance of doing that. Eovaldi was on the IL a lot last year when they needed him and now he is a year older and he will be fully ramped up in March. Pitching in the World Baseball Classic seems like a bad move for him.
all in the suit that you wear
Yeah. I am not a fan of Bradford.
Seems like an Angels’ move – treading water.
“But we’re spending money! Seeeee?!?!”
all in the suit that you wear
I voted Padres, but I could see the Angels signing him.
For some reason, the Cubs stood out to me. Don’t know why but, we’ll see.
I went Padres, cbraves. How many years and price tag?
61 votes for Mets? Cmon lol
NYM rotation is good as is
I agree with you, Duro. I do not think the Mets sign Eovaldi.
He seems like one of those guys the Cardinals would grab.
Padres make sense, as do the Cardinals (especially since they have had to trade for multiple starters at the trade deadline the past two seasons)
A couple starters for the Cardinals are free agents after 2022. Well Wainwright is retiring and Mikolas.
Maybe they can trade Lars Nootbaar to the Rangers for Dane Dunning or Glenn Otto plus more.
Maybe the Rangers get him and then use either Dane Dunning or Glenn Otto in a trade to acquire a left fielder. The 3rd round pick lost wouldn’t be a big deal.
The Baseball Fan
To the 17 people who voted A’s… no
Marlins are the least likely. he would be their 7th or 8th best starter
Or the 5 that voted Marlins. Not bloody likely
C’mon Jerry . Sign one free agent, I double dog dare ya.
Either the Ham Fighters or Bacon Strugglers.
How bout the Spida’s?
Maybe the Pork Belly Sliders?
Not Red Sox that’s for sure. I voted Yankees
Angels should pick him up and make it 6 starters… but the cardinals make it interesting.
I think the Angels run it back and try a one year slight overpay like they did with Syndergaard last year.
If we all think he will get $15M-17.5M a year on something, I think the Angels give Eovaldi 1 year/$20M straight up, if not 1 year/$21M, same as Thor.
I dunno why but the Angels seem like the most likely landing spot for him. Funny the majority of those polled agree it’s the Angels.
And give up a draft pick? No thanks. The only way I consider Eovaldi (and lose a pick) is at 3 years minimum. Or I’d rather sign someone like Kluber, Greinke, or Rich Hill to 1 year deals as the #6 starter.
He has a QO nobody is giving up a pick and the cash to get a sub par SP, back to Boston for less then the QO
If he goes back to Boston, I think he can get a multi-year deal for them for a lower AAV but still something fairly lucrative, like 2 years/$30M.
Who cares he’s sucks
The “ALE mystery team” tidbit is a little worrying. I really hope the Orioles don’t throw away a pick in the 50-60 range for Eovaldi. He definitely isn’t worth it at this point in his career.
As the article points out, the Jays appear to be done with their major offseason moves, but I won’t complain if they take that bullet for the Orioles.
Eovaldi isn’t a major move for really anyone, including Baltimore.
He’s a strong pickup for a contender looking to improve the fringes of the Roster.
He’s not getting 4 5 6 7 8 9 or a decade long contract, if he wants QO money, he can have a 1+1 from someone. He can pitch well and go back out for a 2+1 deal next year.
Im hoping that 1+1 comes from the Jays, he pitches to a 3.50 era from the 5 slot and gets another big payday on the market after helping the Jays win in 2024
It was a monumental mistake of him to refuse the QO. In fact, I about choked on my morning coffee some several weeks back when I read the news that he didn’t accept the QO.
Here’s why going to Houston makes sense:
1- The Astros typically like being in a position of having “too much pitching”
(In truth you never have enough)
2- The Astros have a history of getting the most out of great arms.
3- Houston has plenty of room under the cap to make this happen.
I think he’s from Houston too. Regardless, he ain’t coming to Houston
He is from H-Town. It’s a long shot, but it makes a lot of sense. It’s a long shot because Crane is not likely to spend the kind of money the Eovaldi camp is looking for
Giving up a draft pick for 1-2 years of a back end guy with injury concerns isn’t what the Angels should do.
So that’s exactly what they’ll do ha ha.
I picked the Twins. They should have money to spend and always seem to make sneaky pick ups.
I would count the Padres out because of the QO. They already signed Xander and I know Preller really hated losing picks.
No one will sign him till after the draft.
I was wondering that too, Old York, but I think he’ll reach an agreement before the season starts.
all in the suit that you wear
I’m wondering if Eovaldi suspects he will not sign until after the draft and that is why he decided to pitch in the World Baseball Classic. He can get some work in and show he still has value.
He would do just fine as the #5 in TO on a 1+1 deal.
Let home go back out next year for a decent payday if he stays healthy and pitches well.
Sign Pollack to come off the bench as the RHH outfielder
Baltimore needs to overpay here. He’s more mid rotation than back end starter and he’ll be serviceable in the AL east. May solidify them as the 4th best team in division if they take him away from Boston too
all in the suit that you wear
I’m surprised the O’s haven’t done more to improve their team. I thought they would go for it when Adley Rutschman came up.
There may have been other pitchers to overpay, but not Nate, especially because of the lost draft pick.
I’m skeptical about the White Sox fit for Nathan Eovaldi. Aside from their tight budget, I don’t see them relinquishing their 2023 second round MLB June Draft pick along with forfeiting $500,000 from their international bonus pool for signing a mid-rotation pitcher who was tagged with a qualifying offer.
Despite the fact the White Sox are well into their current contention window they are also prioritizing long term success via the Rule 4 Draft and international signings. Their farm system took a hit with all their prospect graduations at the beginning of their WINdow and they’ve been diligent about restocking it the past few seasons.
The majority of contending big market teams don’t operate with this mind set but it’s been evident during the Jerry Reinsdorf era that the ChiSox act more like a mid-market team when it comes to financial budgets, payroll and free agent acquisitions.
Btw: Despite my comment, I’d be thrilled if the White Sox signed Eovaldi this offseason. Their current rotation is pretty solid from 1-5 after they jumped the FA market with the addition of high risk/high reward SP Mike Clevinger in November. On paper, Clevinger figures to assume the #4 or #5 role depending on the health this spring of Michael Kopech.
The White Sox rotation is chock full of power arms who have each experienced IL stints in the recent past aside from new ace Dylan Cease. Adding another power arm like Eovaldi to the mix would be helpful insurance against yet another injury in 2023. In addition to excellent SO/9 numbers over the past few years, Eovaldi has also demonstrated elite command since 2020 with his BB/9 and SO/W ratios. Aside from Lance Lynn, the other current White Sox SP’s frequently struggle with their command and often have trouble clearing 5 innings per start. Eovaldi has demonstrated solid pitch efficiency in the recent past. His biggest problem has been staying healthy for a full season which would put him in familiar company with the ChiSox.
I also happen to be a die-hard Cubs fan and would welcome an Eovaldi addition on the north side of town. All this said, I picked him to remain with the Red Sox in the MLBTR Free Agent Contest and stuck with that decision in today’s poll question.
While everyone is entitled to their opinion, just weighing in on some of what you said;
“elite command since 2020″……does 1 year negate all the others? he gives up more than a hit an inning throughout his entire career, and makes up for it with SO’s…..his WHIP tells that story better….
“WS pitchers often have trouble clearing 5 innings per start”……have you looked at his starts vs. innings pitched?……while giving him credit for going at the max for as long as he can, that normally isn’t more than 5 (actually 5.2) if he makes it that long using his max effort philosophy……….
“solid pitch efficiency”……if you’ve seen him as many times as Yankee fans like myself have, that solid pitch efficiency is 2 pitches which I do agree when he’s on are solid…..for as long as he can go which is normally 5-6 at best in his really good starts…….
And, at this juncture, making him into a relief artist might be just as problematic given his propensity for injury…….
Thought maybe the rangers bc hes from texas and rangers do okay in reclamation projects
Get Off My Mound
Who does he fit best for? Angels or Rangers. Who will most likey sign him? Mets or Padres.
Angels are selling the team and really won’t be around for the QO penalties to take their toll. That’s someone else’s problem.
Yankees could sign him and look to package Montas for a LF
Been there…done that……no thanks, even though Montas should go in a package for LF/Relief help……..
I think the issue is that Eovaldi sees all these years and money being thrown around and he believes he’s just as good as some of these other pitchers which he’s kind of not. I’m sure he wants as long of a deal as he can get but when you have an injury history like his it’s gonna be very difficult to get a deal like that. He’s a two year guy right now and he probably thinks he should get five.
I think you’re right, he’s seeing guys like Walker and Taillon get paid, and over the last three years, Eovaldi’s numbers are much better. But like you said, he has an injury history, and his finish to last year was bad. But he’s probably looking at last three years w/ his agent and saying, damn, I should be getting at least 4/80. I also think the QO comp attachment kills his value.
There is no way Bloom offers more than $20 M over 3 years loaded with incentives and club opt-out clauses each year.
Have I missed a Michael Wacha signing by some team other than the RSox?
The Sox are going young with their pitching: I can see a rotation of Whitlock, Houck, Bello, Mata, maybe Paxton and Sale unless they can find a home for Sale/Paxton or both by Spring.
Bloom is building a Rays Bullpen-looking good.
feel the same thing. losing strip has left a hole that hasn’t been replaced as bassitt seems to slot where ryu was.
my concern is the jays will continue to try to squeeze 10M in value from kikuchi instead of just approaching him as a sunken cost.
give eovaldi 1 plus an option. slot him at the back of the rotation gives him an opportunity to stay healthy and give us reliable innings and rebuild his value
worse case scenario is we don’t have to watch a kikuchi start where he melts down in less than 1/3rd inning of work.
the jays are a legit top 3 team in finding and mining maximum talent out of the arms they acquire but really missed on this one it’s a 36M horror show that’s gonna follow us into ‘23
I predict the Rangers will sign him.