Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman is going on the 10-day disabled list with a back injury. Zimmerman sustained the injury on a slide into home plate on Wednesday and has been out of commission ever since, though he isn’t expected to miss significant time recovering. On Saturday, the club selected the contract of Mark Reynolds and will presumably utilize him as a backup option at first base.
It’s been a tough month for Zimmerman, who was also laid up after battling soreness in his side over the last week. The 33-year-old infielder is coming off of a strong .303 average and 3.3 fWAR in 2017, but thanks to various health issues, hasn’t been able to produce much more than a .217/.280/.409 batting line, five home runs and a .689 OPS over his first 125 plate appearances of 2018.
Reynolds, 34, was inked to a minor league deal with the club in April. He posted underwhelming numbers during his first few games in Triple-A Syracuse, slashing .231/.286/.333 with two extra-base hits and a .619 OPS in 42 PA, but will likely play second fiddle to the hot-hitting Matt Adams for the time being.
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.