Delmon Young was removed from Detroit’s playoff roster after straining his oblique muscle in Game 5 of the ALDS, but Magglio Ordonez’s fractured ankle and a lack of other outfield options has convinced the Tigers to re-add him to the ALCS roster.
Young missed nearly a month with an oblique strain earlier this season and every indication was that he’d be iffy for the World Series if the Tigers advanced that far, so his availability seems likely to be limited at best.
Young had a big impact in the ALDS, homering three times in five games, but the Tigers opting for a banged-up guy who hit .268 with a .695 OPS this season shows how little faith they had in other outfield options with Ordonez and Brennan Boesch both out of the picture. Ryan Raburn and Don Kelly finished Game 1 in the outfield corners.
UPDATE: So much for limited availability. Young is starting in left field and batting third in Game 2.
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.