Anthony Rizzo made his major league debut last year as a member of the Padres and belted his first career home run in a June 11 loss to the Nationals.
Now he’s on the board with his new team, the Cubs.
The 22-year-old first baseman smoked a two-run blast over the right field fence in the bottom of the sixth inning Saturday, plating Starlin Castro and pushing the Cubs to a 3-2 lead over the Astros.
It’s a lead they would not relinquish, giving Rizzo his second game-winning hit in four games since arriving at Wrigley Field last Tuesday night. “It just feels good to get that win and get that monkey off my back hitting a home run and this and that,” he told JJ Stankevitz of CSNChicago.com after the victory.
Rizzo is now 4-for-15 with two doubles, a dinger and three RBI — good for a .267/.313/.600 slash line.
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.