There weren’t any bad experiences during my trip to spring training, but being honest — and trying to be as fair as possible — I’ll have to say that the Mets’ facilities in Port St. Lucie were my least favorite. I’m not saying there was anything particularly wrong the place, just that the whole setup — the ballpark, the press stuff, the people, the town, the overall scene — fell short of the more or less exceptional experiences I had elsewhere.
One thing that did stand out, though, was the name of the Mets’ spring training park: Tradition Field. I have no idea if that is a covert corporate name like “Great American Park” or something, but it just sounds cool. Feels like baseball! Or, should I say, felt like baseball. Here’s Tyler Kepner of the NYT a few minutes ago:
Here’s a new one: in the middle of a game, the
Mets announce they’ve renamed their spring training stadium. It’s now
Digital Domain Park.
Ah, the Mets. Impeccable timing! Impeccable taste!
Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.
Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.
A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.