As expected the Red Sox have placed David Ortiz back on the disabled list just one game after returning from an Achilles’ tendon injury.
Ortiz went 2-for-4 with a double in that one game, but aggravated the injury that kept him out for more than a month the first time around and said afterward: “I can’t really play like this.”
He could be shut down for the season if some rest and a cortisone injection don’t do the trick, although this morning manager Bobby Valentine told Alex Speier of WEEI.com that the Red Sox “have the expectation he’ll be back.”
When healthy enough to be in the lineup Ortiz has had one of his best seasons at age 36 and with free agency around the corner, hitting .318 with 23 homers in 90 games to lead the league with a .611 slugging percentage and 1.026 OPS. It’s his first time with an OPS above 1.000 since 2007 and the third-highest mark of his career.
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.