According to the Nationals’ official Twitter page, the Washington GM Mike Rizzo has announced a one-year contract extension for veteran right-hander Livan Hernandez.
The money involved has not been revealed just yet, but it seems like a wise move with the information that we do know. Hernandez, 35, has posted a 3.49 ERA, a 1.32 WHIP and a 9-9 record this season on a bad Nationals team. His 91 strikeouts and 55 walks aren’t blowing anybody away, but he’s registered two complete games and one shutout.
Hernandez is the consummate innings-eater. He’s tallied at least 175 innings in each of the last 12 seasons and is likely to reach the 200-inning plateau this year.
The Nats will be without Stephen Strasburg in 2011 due to Tommy John surgery. They did well to secure at least one reliable starter for next season.
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.