The Padres and Angels are both seeking starting pitching, with the two sides showing interest in top remaining free agent starter Nathan Eovaldi, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI. Bradford adds that one other unnamed AL East team is interested in Eovaldi. Meanwhile, Robert Murray of Fansided reports that the Padres are also among the teams “strongly in the mix” for free agent Johnny Cueto.
The Angels have a fairly solid five-man rotation on paper, but since Shohei Ohtani’s been around they’ve tended to opt for a six-man rotation. As such, the addition of Eovaldi to stabilize the rotation makes plenty of sense. Ohtani and Tyler Anderson look set to occupy the first two spots in their rotation, with Reid Detmers, Patrick Sandoval and Jose Suarez rounding out the five. That young trio has shown plenty of promise and the addition of a veteran like Eovaldi would give them a very formidable group of starters to go into the 2023 season with. Even if they don’t wind up signing Eovaldi, the Halos are keen to add more pitching, per Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com, and certainly could make a play for some of the other remaining options on the market.
For the Padres, they currently have Joe Musgrove, Yu Darvish and Blake Snell locked in to three spots in their rotation. They’ve indicated that they plan to start Nick Martinez and new signing Seth Lugo in their rotation in 2023, which would make the need for a starter less obvious. However, Lugo has been far more effective as a reliever over his career and hasn’t made a start since 2020, while Martinez only made ten last year, so there’s a little bit of uncertainty there.
As for the unnamed AL East team, the Yankees would appear an unlikely suitor given their needs in left-field and recent signing of Carlos Rodon while the Blue Jays signed Chris Bassitt and don’t seem to be focused on the rotation. Hitters appear to be more of a pressing need for the Rays, who signed Zach Eflin earlier in the off-season and have the makings of a strong rotation as things stand. That leaves the Orioles – who have been vocal about wanting to add starting pitching this winter – and a return to the Red Sox – who have an uncertain rotation picture – as the obvious options. Bradford’s report does note that the Red Sox do not appear to be the front-runner for Eovaldi, although that doesn’t preclude them from being the AL East team interested.
With most of the starting pitchers off the board, Eovaldi is the top remaining option. MLBTR ranked him as the 23rd best free agent this winter, and predicted a two-year, $34MM contract. He’s shown tremendous consistency over the past three years in Boston, pitching to ERAs of 3.72, 3.75 and 3.87 over 340 innings. Shoulder and back issues restricted him to 109 1/3 innings in 2022, but he’s been a dependable starter when fit. In 2022, he struck out batters at slightly above-average 22.4% clip against a walk rate of 4.4%.
The Red Sox did offer Eovaldi a qualifying offer at the end of the season, so any team (outside of Boston) that signed him would be giving up draft picks. The Padres already forfeited their second and fifth-highest picks in the 2023 draft, as well as $1MM in international bonus money, for signing Xander Bogaerts. So if they added Eovaldi, they’d be giving up their third and sixth-highest picks in the draft as well. The Angels would have to forfeit their second-highest pick, as well as take a $500K hit in international bonus money.
In San Diego’s case, it would seem to make it more likely they’d go after someone like Cueto, who wouldn’t require any draft pick forfeiture. Of course, the Padres are squarely in win-now mode and may view draft picks as a necessary cost to put their team over the top, but given Eovaldi will surely command a multi-year deal with a strong AAV, as well as the draft pick forfeiture and their less-obvious need for rotation help, it’d be a surprise if they won a bidding war for the veteran’s services.
Instead, Cueto could make a lot of sense to deepen their starting pitching stocks. Cueto, 37 in February, tossed 158 1/3 innings of 3.35 ERA ball for the White Sox in 2022, his best season since finishing sixth in NL Cy Young voting for the Giants back in 2016. While his strikeout rate was the worst of his 15-year big league career, Cueto offset that by posting a strong 5.1% walk rate, and keeping the ball in the park far more often. That came after posting a 4.59 ERA over 194 innings over the previous three seasons.
It seems likely Cueto will land a one-year deal, which could help the Padres as a means to insure them against Lugo and/or Martinez needing to be moved back to the bullpen. He also brings a wealth of experience and won a World Series with Kansas City in 2015. That could well appeal to a San Diego team determined to take the next step and win a championship.
As a Rangers fan I hope the Angels spend good money on him.
all in the suit that you wear
Eovaldi is pitching in the World Baseball Classic in March. Being fully ramped up in March will probably make it harder for him to make it through the season.
Let’s be honest. If he signs with the Angels, those games after the all-star break are meaningless anyway.
The Angels offer a 6-man rotation which means he only has to start about 24 games instead of 32-34– saves a lot of wear and tear.
all in the suit that you wear
Carl: Great point.
3.43 FIP over the last 3 seasons btw
21 HR allowed in 109 innings. sounds like our lineup may like seeing him
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
Right back at ya. Another overrated average, or less pitcher, if you back your team, don’t spend any stupid money on this guy. Period.
Anyone who has actually seen Eovaldi pitch knows he’s been above average. Again, the game is not played in a computer. So many intangibles that a computer can’t evaluate. He’s got risk but with the $$ being spent this year, he’s a value pick up in my book assuming he gets at most two years for $25m. I’m thinking the compensation pushes others back and he signs for $12.5m x 2 with Boston with a $2.5m player opt out after 23 so he gets $15m for 22 and re-enters free agency in 23 without the tag (assuming he stays mostly injury free).
Did you see him pitch in the playoffs and help lead the Red Sox to a title? That’s not overrated my friend– that’s clutch.
If Eovaldi is smart he’ll pick the Padres over the Angels, even if SD offers him less $.
Why? With the Angels he’ll pitch in a six man rotation and get more rest and save more bullets in the arm.
Padres are also using a 6 man rotation
@carllafong The Padres will run a six man rotation, as well, just as they did last year. With the Padres, he (Eovaldi) has a real chance to play in the World Series. That might matter to him.
I think the Padres get Eovaldi if they want him. Whether they want to sacrifice the draft picks and pay the luxury tax penalties to sign him, would be the main question. The answer to that depends on how he fits into the Padres rotation plans for 2024-2025 (i.e. assuming Eovaldi gets a 3 year deal, i.e. with options, etc). They won’t suffer the cost unless he’s viewed as a viable replacement for the starters reaching FA in 2024.
Comment posted under wrong user.
As Angels fan I’m happy to report that Seattle and Texas still and never will figure out a way to get Mike Trout out.
What does Mike Trout have anything to do with this?
I hope the Angels don’t sign him. Because I don’t want to hear by July, that he failed a drug test and is suspended for the year. Because we all know, star players in Boston don’t get tested
You’re confused, the article is not about Montas.
Leading the league in slugging at age 40 is perfectly natural.
I mean, not even Bonds did it.
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
The gas is out of the tank on this clunker. Start investing on your youth.
Detmers, Sandoval, Suarez are all three young, homegrown pitchers.
Three bullpen studs from AA will make it up this year.
Good youth is finally starting to come along.
The youth in the Angel system close to being ready are all bullpen pieces. They have no starters ready to go– maybe Silseth by the midway point, but he was recently drafted. They have no prospect position players ready to be a part of the big club.
Carlafong, “They have no prospect position players ready to be a part of the big club”. I would say Soto, Neto, and O’ Hoppe and Silseth are as close as those 3 bullpen pieces. They all look good to me Soto, O’ Hoppe, and Silseth have shown skills at the MLB level briefly. Neto, O’ Hoppe and Silseth also Dominated AA,
What you’re saying is just not true. Soto has been a light hitting shortstop in the minors who got called up at the end of the season for three weeks and played a lot of games against other call-ups. They are not ready to go into the season with him as our shortstop– come on. We don’t even know if what he did was for real or a mirage. Neto was just drafted and has a whopping six weeks of professional baseball. I love the player, but he is two years away– at least a year and a half with no setbacks. O’Hoppe they just traded for and will be their starting catcher.. I mentioned Silseth as possibly being close as a starter, but he’s a pitcher. They have no big league ready prospects for first, second, short, third or the outfield. We traded Marsh to get O’Hoppe– we didn’t develop him. He’s played six weeks in our system. Our development system is horrible and MLB ranks us 30 out of 30. The lack of depth has been and continues to be. a serious problem.
Carlafong, how is this not true? I could see Soto starting the year on the bench. Not with all the bench they have now. I think I could see Neto later this year. I would start O’ Hoppe at AAA but he might be OK in April. O’ Hoppe IS considered a PROSPECT that did improve after we got him. The Angels did not draft Soto but under Perry’s watch he looked improved and showed in the MLB skill sets. I don’t know how he will hit He does have a lot of skills that is evident. Would make any of them a starter on opening day O’ Hoppe is the only one I might consider, maybe Silseth. I would not have the 3 relivers start in the bullpen. And I think as starter or in a relivers case Closer or setup is what you meant. Those pitchers don’t have much pro experience themselves.
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
LAA, let the Pads absorb another stupid contract on this, & like Hosmer & Myers, they can complain & whine for the duration of the contract that they offered.
@Curly Was The Smart Stooge
“they can complain…”????
Who are those complainers, ’cause they ain’t the Padres. Seidler wrote the check, covering Hosmer’s salary in full, and Myers buy out option. Yeah, there are icebergs lurking out there on these long term contracts, but again, Seidler’s said he’s willing to write those checks, period.
So, what were YOU crying about, once again? Petty jealousy is overrated.
Maybe not star players but ever heard of Michael Chavis?
What the heck are you talking about? Eovaldi has never been linked to PED’s. I’m not a fan at all of Boston but I can’t stand people that run their mouths and tarnish players because of their own sad, pathetic existence!
Why not the Orioles?
I am at a loss over that one
Also, and maybe someone can help clear it up for me to say this is righteous or not
Anyway, the Orioles owe Chris Davis like 42 million in deferred payments
The Dodgers owe Trevor Bauer 32 million
Why not trade bad contracts?
Trevor did his time and that is that
The Dodgers would have no reason to do that. They can just release Bauer for about 20 million less. Bauer will be owed in the range of 22 million with his salary prorated for not having to pay the first 50 games this year.
Yeah but wouldn’t tbe Davis Contract help them with the luxury tax
Maybe my theory is all wet
I didn’t consider dereferrals but I get the feeling as deferred money still counts just the length of the contract they couldn’t do that deal.
Maybe it was an outside the box kind of idea…
H E Pennypacker
Chris Davis’ career is firmly planted inside a box, six feet under.
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
22 mil is about average for a starting pitcher these days, why not let him pitch for his contract?
I’m getting 50/50 on who supports him & who doesn’t
Has he been pitching in his time off & can he prove it?
It is the La Media who seem to be against him
What the truth is , I don’t know
the orioles woul have to give draft pick up.mike ellias doesnt like giving picks up.so its ulikely they will sign him.now,that ive said that watch the orioles sign him and make me look like a fool lol.
Coughing up a draft choice in the third round does not seem unreasonable to me
Cueto or Evoldi really helps the Pads! Cueto to the Pads? Evoldi to the Halos? Could happen
This is the part where Preller sells his entire farm system.
You don’t “give up a farm system” when you sign a free agent. You might lose a draft pick, which they would in Eovaldi’s case, but that isn’t giving up a farm system.
That being said, if the Padres were going to loose another draft pick, I would have preferred they go all out and pursued Rodon. He is better than either of these guys and he would have paired nicely with Musgrove for the next 5 years.
Jeez you need to get all nerdy on me, it was a joke.
Not nerdy, just the facts. And with the many people on this site that nit pick everything Preller & Co. do, it is hard to tell when someone is joking or not. Have a Merry Xmas!
Of course the Padres. Every writer on every free agent says Padres interested. ⚾️
Came in here to post this, almost word for word.
Well Cohen will just buy every free agent. It’s pretty funny that Cohen luxury tax bill is higher than 10 teams total team salaries.
What the f is bloom doing? They need pitching so badly. He probably is just salivating at the draft picks and doesn’t care the Red Sox won’t win more than 50 games in 2023
It is really hard to lose 112 games, even the Pirates and Reds could only lose 100 in 2022.
50 wins? I’m down on the RS right now but that’s just a ridiculous take. You might as well just jump off the Tobin haha
Biggest concern is health but on a six man rotation that is mitigated a bit.
I’d take him.
Angels should leave innings for canning, c rod, davidson and silseth to get a shot
Angels & NL West
If history is a guide, Canning, Davidson and Silseth will get opportunities as the Angels typically use 10+ SP per season. Given Rodriguez’s injury history, I’m guessing he will be a BP piece.
The Angels have some nice SP and IF depth. Some AA promotions will add to the BP by mid-season giving Nevin some options in the pen. Inch by inch, season by season, Perry is adding quality depth to the 40-man roster.
Canning hasn’t pitched in two seasons and is always injured– and even when he wasn’t injured he was not effective. C-Rod isn’t even pitching off a mound yet and has spent his entire career injured. Davidson was crushed when he pitched and has yet to figure himself out. Silseth had an ERA over six and we have no idea what we will get from him or how many effective innings. This team needs a veteran to help lead the kids and provide depth. If the Angels have Ky Bush, Silseth and Bachman develop into viable starters by next season Eovaldi can go to the pen, but noneof the players you mentioned are ready now, or can be counted on than anything other than depth pieces. Canning is a trade candidate.
As good as the Angels young pitching has looked, acquiring another starter would be a great move and would put the team over the luxury cap for the first time ever. You can never have enough starting pitching.
As it is now, the Angels have 4 Lefthanders in the starting rotation. Evoldi would help balance the rotation.
I see a major trade on the horizon for the Angels. They have too many infielders and utility players on the roster.
I wouldn’t be surprised if they trade Suarez, and Stassi to the Blue Jays for Jansen. Maybe they offer Rengifo, Walsh and Adell for Vlad Jr. Or Bichette.
Ever look at Suarez? He looks like a Lefthanded Bartolo Colon.
I think there is a major trade coming for a shortstop and it might involve some combination of Suarez, Canning, Regnifo, Fletcher, Adell, as well as a couple of other prospects for Cleveland’s Ahmed Rosario, or Milwaukee’s Willy Adames. But a trade is coming.
Rosario is a FA after next season. No way the Angels give up that much for him. Adames isn’t getting traded. Right now, he is the Brewers only good hitter.
Carlafong, I was thinking the same thing but for Tim Anderson and Liam Hendriks. The Whitesox are short cash and think they can back fill for a closer. There have been reports that they could move Anderson who will need an extension soon . They want a 2B and would like a starter . The Angels were linked to talks about Hindricks Just before the Mets were. I think they might like Suarez and Regnifo to start and the angels might have to take Grandal. Maybe something for just Hindricks.
Makes sense. I think yours is a viable option. Whatever the answer is you know they are working on multiple scenarios. Tim Anderson and Grandal would elevate this offense a lot. Maybe Stassi goes back as part of the package?
It’s been awfully quiet regarding Shintaro Fujinama. Could be a nice gamble for LAA as a #6
Moreno went over the luxury tax when he signed Vlad,Colon,Guillien and Escobar.
Ritz bits cheeeeese sandwich crrrrrackerrrrrrrs
I do wonder if the Angels will role with an all LH rotation. Seems like a decent bet to add at least one RH option
Ohtani is a RHP…
That’s one of six!
Remember that Tyler Anderson plays like a right handed pitcher. His best pitch is to right handed batters. Leftys don’t hit him well. Also the other Starters all have very different looks to each other.
You’re right. I always forget he just bats LH
I would not be surprised if he gets three years. There are not a lot of starting pitching options left. It just makes the Tyler Anderson deal look better and better everyday.
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
@Manny, LAA is not my team, but I want to see them succeed while Ohtani & Trout are together. Simply put, they need pitching, an ace. They didn’t get it. Don’t pretend by getting this pitcher is the answer. I’m hoping they have something up their sleeve. This winter, major disappointment.
I expect a new owner to fix things before Trout is gone and to make Ohtani an extension offer that is market competitive
I think Ohtani is the Ace. His stats say he is a Ace.
Curly, I think you are caught in that old thinking that the Angels starting pitching is the main reason for losing. The Probems last year was the drop off in scoring runs when the injuries came. At one point they led the majors in runs scored. Not only did the replacement players not hit, but they could not move runners over and strike out with men on third and les than 2 outs. They had a hard time scoring runs At the same time the hitting stopped the backend of the bullpen stated blowing close games. The starting rotation got better as the season went on. Even with giving 8 starts to Tucker Davidson and his 6.87 ERA the team’s starters had an ERA under 3 the second half. They ended up playing a lot of low scoring close games. They had a terrible record in close games. The starting pitchers were one of the majors best last year and they have more pitching depth this year I think should have a strong rotation again and maybe better. They invested in a great bench this should help them hit better. The biggest problem now is the back of bullpen. I would like to see them get another solid starter , but what they really could use is a closer.
If he gets three years the Angels can pivot to Cueto or Wacha.
That’s a LOT of em dashes in that fourth paragraph.
Pads need to grab them both. Cuz you can never have enough pitching…it’s an arms race.
He’s a good addition, but I’m a lot more worried about the pen, and based on history, the Angels don’t have a clue how to solve that problem.
One reason the Padres would consider Eovaldi over Cueto is they need starters going into 2024.
Right now they only have Musgrove and Martinez belong 2023.
A lot of FA Starters available next year but their money is tied up already and will need to give Manny more to keep him.Plus there’s a Soto extension to consider.
Padres are going over $300m in 2024.
I think both Cohen and Seidler have pretty much said “What luxury tax? I don’t care, just tell me what the number on the check is supposed to be, and I’ll write it.”
They’ve said it for different reasons. Not sure about Cohen, other than creating the #1 Baseball franchise in NY and the top 1 or 2 in MLB, is incredibly valuable in the MLB market, more valuable than the cost of building that team while paying the luxury tax every year.
As far as Seidler is concerned, I’m pretty certain he sees the math similarly, i.e. he’s not running a charity. However, his family (O’Malley clan) has a baseball background,. Plus, Seidler just beat cancer a couple of years back, and it may come back to haunt him. Bottom line: I think it’s more of a personal thing to Seidler, than to Cohen. But, neither of them will blink at spending $500M a year to ensure a consistent, competitive, post-season winning MLB team. (No can spend enough to “guarantee” a World Series win. That’s beyond the simple efforts of men. That takes luck, blessings, everything falling into place.)
The biggest consideration for the Padres, vis-a-vis cost of FA’s, are the draft picks. They can’t be bought or sold in pro baseball (unlike the NFL). Once lost, there’s no easy way to replenish the farm system store. Eventually, I expect that the Padres will come in under (lux tax) budget, but that won’t happen anytime soon.
I would have rather have Thor and the deal he signed with the Dodgers. I expect Thor to build on last year and likely will have similar numbers or better than Eovaldi.
I still say “Merry Christmas ” mlbtr, but respect your right to not say it. Wishing everyone a great holiday, and hope Evovaldi will pass his physical and go to the team that will give him the best deal at this time.
He could be a difference maker with Seattle
Twinkies should be on both of them!
Orioles and Jays make sense here— Eovaldi to the Osxahd Cueto to the Jays