I’d love to say the Rangers’ 6-5 extra-inning win over the Yankees last night (or this morning) was exciting and dramatic — and it certainly had its moments — but unfortunately the five-hour, 12-minute marathon was completely dominated by pitching changes. The two teams combined to set an American League record by using 19 pitchers. The Rangers established a new franchise record by using 11 of them.
This morning, Peter Gammons said it best when he tweeted:
Pennant races lose integrity when 11 pitchers get used to win in Sept. Please, MLB, care
There’s an easy way to fix this. Simply determine the maximum amount of players allowed to be active for a September game. 25? 30? Whatever. Just pick a number. Not only is it the fair way to do things, but it will also ensure that we won’t have to sit through a repeat of the ridiculousness that we just witnessed.
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.