With the Deadline under a week away, the Boston Red Sox made another trade. Sending lefty Jalen Beeks to Tampa, for righty starter Nathan Eovaldi.
Instant reaction was glee. Eovaldi is a 28-year-old veteran righty who can bring a lot to a pitching rotation that has featured prominently four lefties.
In 10 starts for the Tampa Bay Rays, Eovaldi went 3-4 with a 4.26 ERA, in his first season recovering from Elbow surgery in 2017. While those numbers may not jump off the page, its the fine print that looks promising.
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Eovaldi is a guy who chews up innings, throws hard, and consistently strikes guys out. What’s also great is how fresh of a pitcher he is, having only thrown 57 innings while Aces like Chris Sale are well over 100 innings pitched. He will ideally slide into the 4-5 starter range, and pitch for the Sox very soon, seeing as he was scheduled to start today against the Yankees.
Eovaldi is a Big bodied pitcher, at 6’2″ and 225 lbs. His average fastball hits 96 mph and is by far the primary pitch in his arsenal, being used 41 percent of the time. He also features a deadly 2-seamer that has cutter movement. Also to be mentioned, Eovaldi almost never surrenders a walk with a 3.6 BB percent that ranks in the top 3 in the league. Walking only 8 batters over 57 innings.
The final pro’s of the addition comes in the Luxury Tax and Rotation. Eovaldi is only gonna cost the Red Sox $2 million for this year alone, which still keeps them well over the Luxury Tax threshold of $197 million. The current Sox payroll sits at around $225 million which is gonna cost management some good change. Being a little over a quarter over isn’t much of a big deal considering past penalties to teams like the Yankees, who have paid over $300 million in Luxury Tax penalties alone.
The starting rotation picks up another righty which will help the Red Sox match up better against teams that are righty dominated.
As far as what they gave up, for a team with an average farm it was nothing. Beeks is the 15th ranked prospect in the Red Sox System and at the age of 25, he’s past his peak of being anything too highly sought after. At best he’ll be a 4-5 starter, the Sox tried him out this season and he flopped hard.
Typically there’s a grace period for new pitchers, as coaches and payers don’t have the data to decipher what they’re gonna throw and how they manage the game. Beeks, however, was shelled hard. In 2 starts only totaling 6.1 innings, he had a 12.79 ERA and let up 11 hits. It won’t harm the Red Sox farm too much.
This trade sets up the Boston Red Sox to be a serious contender.