Report: The Red Sox are still in on Carl Crawford

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It’s a little quiet tonight, don’t you think? A little too quiet…

Yeah, there isn’t much happening with Carl Crawford right now, but multiple Red Sox sources have confirmed to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com that the club is still interested in signing the free-agent outfielder, even after the recent acquisition of Adrian Gonzalez.

However, one source wonders how many years it will take to sign him, especially after Jayson Werth turned the market on its head by signing a seven-year, $126 million contract with the Nationals on Sunday. Perhaps that explains the general lack of chatter in regards to Crawford this week?

Meanwhile, Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein was more of the “never-say-never” opinion when asked directly by Edes.

“It’s the same answer I gave yesterday. Obviously we’re in a new situation now after we’ve made a major acquisition, but like I said, anything is possible, right?”

While the Red Sox can’t be ruled out on Crawford, Epstein confirmed that he is exploring alternatives. With that in mind, Edes reports that the club has expressed interest in Josh Willingham of the Nationals and free agent outfielder Matt Diaz, both of whom hit from the right side of the plate. Aaron wrote this morning that the team also has interest in Magglio Ordonez.

Nathan Eovaldi to make 2018 debut for Rays soon

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Rays manager Kevin Cash said that pitcher Nathan Eovaldi will join the starting rotation on Monday or Tuesday to face the Athletics, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Eovaldi’s rehab outing with Triple-A Durham went well, even though he gave up eight runs in four innings.

Eovaldi, 28, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He had arthroscopic surgery in March to remove loose bodies in his elbow. It’s been a long road back. Knowing Eovaldi needed to recover from surgery, the Rays signed him to a one-year, $2 million contract in 2017 that included a $2 million club option for 2018 that they exercised last November.

When Eovaldi last pitched, he ranked among baseball’s hardest throwers, particularly among starters. He averaged 97.1 MPH on his fastball in 2016. Among starters who racked up at least 100 innings that season, only the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard had a higher average velocity (97.9 MPH). It remains to be seen if he still has that velocity after undergoing two procedures on his elbow.

The Rays will be glad to have Eovaldi back. The club has sustained injuries to Jake Faria, Yonny Chirinos, and Jose De Leon.