It appears as if one of the top names on the starting pitcher free agent market has found a long-term home. Moments ago, it was announced that Nathan Eovaldi would re-sign with the Boston Red Sox. The deal is pending a physical and the exact numbers are not yet known, but it can be deduced that the hard throwing right hander is getting a deal in the neighborhood of four years and $67-$70 million.
Eovaldi was traded to the Red Sox from Tampa Bay and shined with his new club. He went 3-3 with a 3.33 ERA in 12 outings with the Red Sox last season, which does not really garner a massive contract. But Eovaldi was able to get his money in the postseason, as he was one of the best players as the Red Sox rolled through the playoffs to a World Series Trophy. Hell, he almost won World Series MVP. In six postseason outings, including two starts, Eovaldi went 2-1 with a 1.61 ERA.
Now that we get the hard news out of the way, lets get a little objective about this. I will be the first to say it, I loved watching Eovaldi in the playoffs. He was a man amongst boys and gave one of the best postseason performances in the World Series that I have ever seen. However, it is important to look beyond the numbers. Eovaldi has had two Tommy John surgeries and and throws 102 MPH. Does that seem like a good mix to you? It doesn't to me. Those types of guys don't last, regardless of how young they are. For reference, Eovaldi is 28 years old.
Ultimately, this deal will be garnered either a failure or success based on what the Red Sox decide to do with Eovaldi. If he is converted into a closer, then I think this deal is wildly idiotic. You don't pay closers close to $20 million, especially for a guy with not a lot of experience at the position. If the Red Sox want to use him as a starter, I will like this deal a lot more, but I just don't think he is going to be able to last the full four years. I simply feel that this deal is looking too short-term, but what do I know?
I am also interested to see what the Red Sox decide to do with the rest of the offseason. Steven Pearce was re-signed to a one-year deal and we already know about Eovaldi's massive contract. These were two guys that were traded for midseason and had massive impacts in the playoffs. Do they really deserve these contracts? That is up for debate. At least Pearce's contract is only for one season. Will these two deals handicap the Red Sox as we look at what else they need this offseason? As we all already know, it is clear the Red Sox need bullpen help, especially with Joe Kelly and Craig Kimbrel hitting the free agent market. Will these deals hurt the Red Sox as they try to re-sign these two, or perhaps get over arms, such as David Robertson or Zach Britton?
We will see....