I’ve seen a few posts around the web in which writers have reported how much money in contracts teams have handed out in total this winter — I think we’re at or near a billion now — but I find that to be rather abstract and not entirely useful. In contrast, however, Ben Nicholson-Smith at MLB Trade Rumors put a great post up late last night breaking down how much each team has spent so far this offseason. That’s something I can get my arms and mind around a bit more easily.
No surprise: the Red Sox have spent the most, making $172 million in commitments, and that’s not even counting the inevitable Adrian Gonzalez contract extension that will come in the spring. The Nats and Phillies are two and three. Again, no shock there. What is shocking: that the Marlins have out-spent the Cubs, Mets and Braves.
On average teams have committed $40 million each to new contracts this winter. The median, however, is only $19 million, so yeah, there are a small handful of teams propping up the mean.
Definitely click through, as Nicholson-Smith breaks each team’s expenditures down by player.
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.