Red Sox bench coach Tim Bogar is among the candidates to interview for the Astros’ managerial opening and one of the best players in franchise history, Lance Berkman, thinks he’s the right man for the job.
“If it was me, that’s who I’d hire,” Berkman said, via Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle “He was great to me when I was a young player. I’ve always thought he would make an excellent manager, and they could do a lot worse than him. I just have tremendous respect for him and know he knows the game.”
Berkman and Bogar were Astros teammates in 1999, when a 23-year-old Berkman broke into the majors and a 32-year-old Bogar was the starting shortstop.
Bogar is among a handful of candidates for the job, which includes interim manager Tony DeFrancesco, Nationals third base coach Bo Porter, and Rays bench coach Dave Martinez. Larry Bowa and Brad Ausmus have already removed themselves from the running.
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.