Alex Rodriguez isn’t due back from knee surgery until mid-August, but instead of relying on Eduardo Nunez and Brandon Laird as fill-ins the Yankees have another option at third base: Eric Chavez.
The oft-injured veteran has been on the disabled list since May with a fractured foot, but went 7-for-21 (.333) with a homer and two doubles during a brief minor-league rehab assignment and is in the Yankees’ starting lineup tonight.
Counting on Chavez to play every day is obviously crazy at this point, but using him at third base versus most right-handed pitchers while Nunez steps into the lineup against most left-handed pitchers makes some sense. Chavez hit .310 with an .834 OPS in 17 games prior to the fractured foot and was a six-time Gold Glove winner at third base before all the injuries derailed his career. Maybe he can stay healthy until Rodriguez returns in a few weeks, at least.
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.