It was reported in January that NESN had reassigned sideline reporter Jenny Dell when it was revealed that she was in a romantic relationship with Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks. Now that reassignment has become a full-blown parting of ways:
Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, who oversees all of NESN’s on-air operations, acknowledged Thursday morning that Dell has decided to pursue other opportunities outside of the sports cable franchise after she and Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks acknowledged on New Year’s Eve that they were in a relationship.
I think it’s fun that that a reporter having a relationship with a player is a conflict of interest but the team’s chairman controlling the content of the network is not, but I guess that’s not worth exploring too deeply, huh?
In any event, I expect Dell will land someplace comfortable soon. She’s seen as a rising star. Places like Fox and ESPN have baseball programming out the wazoo and a need of faces to put on the screen around and during it. She won’t be out of a job for long.
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.