Free agent right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is nearing a major league deal with the Rays, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The contract is said to include an option for 2018, which, in Eovaldi’s case, is crucial. The 26-year-old underwent his second Tommy John surgery and an additional flexor tendon surgery last August and will be not be eligible to start in 2017, though Topkin predicts that he’ll be ready to return to the mound in advance of the 2018 season.
The veteran righty was released by the Yankees in November after completing his second circuit with the team in 2016. He delivered a 4.76 ERA, 2.9 BB/9 and 7.0 SO/9 over 124 2/3 innings, and while his fastball velocity hit an all-time high, his performance was overshadowed by career-worst home run totals and an underwhelming strikeout rate.
The deal has yet to be confirmed by the team.
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League West.
The Giants had the best record in all of baseball at the All-Star Break and the Dodgers lost the best pitcher in the world in Clayton Kershaw for a big chunk of the season. Yet, somehow, L.A. won the NL West by four games. The biggest culprit was the Giants’ suspect bullpen, which they put some real money toward fixing this winter. Is it enough? Or is a a Dodgers team with a healthy Kershaw just too talented for San Francisco to handle?
Below them is an intriguing Rockies team, though probably not a truly good Rockies team. The Dbacks have a lot of assorted talent but are nonetheless in reshuffle mode following a miserable 2016 campaign. The Padres, meanwhile, are in full-fledged rebuilding mode, but do possess some of the best minor league talent in the game.
Here are our previews of the 2017 NL West:
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League West
There’s not a lot of separation between the top three teams in this division. Indeed, it would not be a surprise for either the Astros, Rangers or Mariners to end the year on top. Part of that is because none of these contenders are perfect, with all three facing some big challenges in putting together a strong rotation.
Meanwhile, the best baseball player in the universe toils in Anaheim, where he’ll most likely have to content himself to playing spoiler. Up the coast in Oakland . . . um, green is pretty?
Our 2017 AL West Previews:
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim