Last week Giants manager Bruce Bochy revealed that Matt Cain has been pitching through a “cranky” elbow since spring training, and so not surprisingly after initially pushing back his next turn in the rotation the team has now placed him on the disabled list.
Cain refused to give any details about his status when asked last week, saying: “I’m feeling like I’m feeling.”
His performance speaks for itself, though, with a 2-7 record and career-worst 4.18 ERA in 15 starts to go along with the lowest strikeout rate of his decade-long career and his highest walk rate since 2008. For now the Giants are calling his injury merely inflammation.
Playing through an injury: Still a really, really bad idea.
Cain is making $20 million this season and is owed another $20 million per season through 2017, plus a $21 million option or $7.5 million buyout for 2018.
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.