As if losing a 13-inning game against the Padres on an error-induced walk-off run scored by a pitcher who pinch-hit wasn’t bad enough, the Angels also lost Vernon Wells and Ryan Langerhans to injuries.
Wells injured his thumb stealing second base and Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports that he was wearing a cast after the game.
Langerhans left the game after slamming into the outfield wall, leading to some creative defensive alignments by the Angels, including Howie Kendrick in left field for what proved to be the game-losing play.
Langerhans was just called up from Triple-A and Wells hasn’t produced since joining the Angels last season, so the losses aren’t exactly team-crushing. However, recently at least Wells was showing some signs of life by hitting .273 with two homers and a .752 OPS in 16 games this month.
Torii Hunter also remains away from the team following his son’s arrest, but even without those three players around the Angels still have enough outfield depth to trot out Mike Trout, Peter Bourjos, and Mark Trumbo, which plenty of teams would love to have as their everyday trio.
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.