The Orioles announced on Twitter that the club has acquired infielder Kelly Johnson and minor league infielder Michael Almanzar from the Red Sox in exchange for minor league infielders Jemile Weeks and Ivan De Jesus. It’s been a busy evening for the O’s, as they acquired outfielder Alejandro De Aza from the White Sox earlier.
The O’s have an eight-game lead over the Yankees in the AL East, but will be without third baseman Manny Machado throughout September and the post-season, assuming they get there.
Johnson has had a miserable season, slashing .212/.290/.354 combined between his time with the Yankees and Red Sox. He tallied six home runs and 23 RBI as well in 252 plate appearances. Now an Oriole, Johnson will have donned the uniform of all five AL East teams. He was with the Rays last season, the Jays in the latter half of 2011 and all of 2012.
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.