Last night Juan Pierre became the 18th player in baseball history with at least 600 stolen bases, which was cause for celebration in the Marlins clubhouse.
But as Craig Davis of the South Florida Sun Sentinel writes, they went in a different direction than the usual champagne:
The head-scratcher was the pyramid of Hawaiian Punch cans surrounded by Honey Buns. That was the result of the Marlins posing the question to Pierre’s wife Liz: What do you get a man who has stolen 600 bases?
“I love Honey Buns and Hawaiian Punch. That’s the thing. I don’t drink, so champagne or none of that, that doesn’t do me any good. Hawaiian Punch and Honey Buns is a very good surprise,” Pierre said.
So to all the kids out there: If you want to play 14 seasons in the majors as one of the fastest (and skinniest) players in baseball and remain a stolen base threat into your mid-30s the key is … Hawaiian Punch and Honey Buns. At least until MLB bans them for being performance-enhancing.
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.