Tommy Milone was bumped to the minors after the Athletics acquired Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel earlier this month and now FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the left-hander has asked for a trade.
Milone was hardly deserving of a demotion, posting a 3.55 ERA over 16 starts at the major league level this season. The 27-year-old southpaw was 6-0 with a 2.62 ERA over his last 11 outings prior to being sent down to Triple-A. So this was a case of the numbers game, not anything shady. While Milone understandably believes that he should be pitching in a major league rotation right now, the Athletics don’t appear likely to give him his wish.
The Athletics have received trade inquiries on Milone, but the team is not eager to move him, knowing he might be needed due to injury or ineffectiveness, sources say.
Milone’s current predicament has ramifications beyond the obvious. He would have been eligible for arbitration for the first time this offseason had he remained in the majors all year, but his time in the minors will push that back. It’s a frustrating situation for him, but baseball is a business and you can’t blame the Athletics for building depth. They have already lost two starters, Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin, to Tommy John surgery this season.
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.