Akinori Iwamura unclaimed on waivers, optioned to Triple-A

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After designating Akinori Iwamura for assignment last week Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said “a small number of teams have expressed mild interest” in trading for him, but Iwamura and the $2.9 million remaining on his contract passed through waivers unclaimed yesterday.
Various reports suggest that the Pirates were willing to eat the rest of Iwamura’s contract, but ultimately couldn’t find a team interested in giving up anything for him. Apparently the “mild interest” was very mild.
Iwamura is now off the 40-man roster, but accepted an assignment to Triple-A because not doing so would have meant forfeiting the rest of his guaranteed salary. While in Indianapolis the 31-year-old infielder will try to recoup some of the value lost by hitting .182 and looking slow defensively, but he’s probably facing an uphill climb to make it back to the majors.

Report: Nathan Eovaldi drawing interest from at least nine teams

Nathan Eovaldi
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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.