The Rangers should be whole again soon.
According to the Associated Press, via NBCSports.com, right fielder Nelson Cruz is scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment on Monday at Double-A Frisco and left fielder Josh Hamilton is expected to join him on Wednesday.
Cruz has been sidelined since May 3, when he strained his right quadriceps muscle. He should only need three or four rehab games before the Rangers clear him to return to the major leagues.
Hamilton might need a bit longer. He’s been on the disabled list since the second week of the regular season with a broken bone in his upper right arm and is likely to require a full week of minor league at-bats to get his timing back.
Texas is also missing starting center fielder Julio Borbon, who hit the disabled list this weekend due to inflammation in his left hamstring. It’s no wonder the Rangers have fallen to second place in the AL West.
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.