Pat Neshek did his own reporting on this one.
According to the sidearming right-hander’s Twitter account, the Twins put Neshek on outright waivers Sunday and he was quickly claimed by the Padres.
The 30-year-old was a highly reliable setup man for Minnesota from 2006-2007, boasting a 2.68 ERA and a 127/33 K/BB ratio over 107-plus innings, but he underwent Tommy John surgery in November of 2008 and wasn’t able to climb back up the depth chart.
Neshek had a minor league option left, but the Twins opted to remove him from the 40-man roster and give him a fresh start elsewhere. Twins general manager Bill Smith called it a “good opportunity for him,” according to new MLB.com beat writer Rhett Bollinger.
Because of the spacious confines of PETCO Park, San Diego can be a wonderful place for pitchers who are looking for a career turnaround. Neshek should do well in a middle relief role if he can stay healthy.
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.