Detroit’s shortstops have been incredibly bad this season, hitting a combined .191 with one homer and a .484 OPS in 54 games, and today the Tigers made a move to address that mess by calling up minor leaguer Eugenio Suarez from Triple-A.
Suarez isn’t considered a top prospect and almost surely wouldn’t be arriving in the majors at age 22 if not for the Tigers’ terrible production at the position, but he’s hit very well between Double-A and Triple-A this season.
He began the year at Double-A and then got a promotion to Triple-A two weeks ago, batting .288 with eight homers and an .870 OPS in 54 games between the two levels. Suarez’s track record isn’t as promising–he hit just .264 with a .744 OPS last year–but between his age and current production there’s a chance he could hold his own versus big leaguers. And obviously it won’t take much for him to be a huge upgrade.
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.