Ken Rosenthal reports that the Tampa Bay Rays have traded starter Nathan Eovaldi to the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox will send lefty Jalen Beeks to Tampa Bay in exchange. Eovaldi has been scratched from this afternoon’s scheduled start against the Yankees, so if the deal isn’t already finalized, it will be soon.
Eovaldi is 3-4 with a 4.26 ERA but with an outstanding 0.98 WHIP and a K/BB ratio of 53/8 in 57 innings across ten starts on the season. It was a late start to the year as he returned in late May after missing all of 2017 following a second Tommy John surgery. Which, yes, is somewhat troubling, but it’s also the case that the Sox are only acquiring him for a couple of months’ use, with a very cheap $2 million club option for 2019 if they like what they get from him.
At the moment Eovaldi is still throwing in the mid-to-upper 90s, is showing better control than he did before his surgeries and has had a couple of super dominant outings. Given that the Sox’ rotation depth has been hurt with Steven Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez going on the DL, there is certainly a need for him.
In Beeks the Rays are getting a 25-year-old Triple-A starter who, on the season, is 5-5 with a 3.40 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 117/25 in 87.1 innings. He was a 12th rounder in 2014 out of the University of Arkansas.
Welp, that didn’t last long. Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is going back on the injured list with more knee issues. If it matters the Sox say it’s not a big deal and they expect him back sooner rather than later, but they also said that his post-2017 knee surgery was just a “cleanup” at first and that basically cost him a year. So.
Pedroia has played in six games and is 2-for-20 with a walk.
I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that Pedroia’s career may be nearing an end. Sure, he’s under contract for two more years after this season, but he’s also in a unfortunate spiral that so many players experience in their mid-to-late 30s.
Running a website like this makes it all the clearer, actually. When you search a player’s name in our CMS, you get every post in which he appears in reverse chronological order. Just about every long-tenured player ends with about six posts in which he is alternately placed on and activated from the disabled/injured list. Then an offseason link to a big feature in which he’s written about as being “at a crossroads” followed by something vague about “resuming baseball activities” and then, inevitably, the retirement announcement. I can’t count the number of guys whose careers I can tick off in that way by browsing the guts of this site.
I hope that’s not the case for Pedroia. I hope that there’s a “Pedroia wins Comeback Player of the Year” post in the future. Or at the very least a silly “Miller’s Crossing” reference in an “And that Happened” in which I say “the old man’s still an artist with the Thompson” after he peppers the ball around in some 3-for-4, two-double game. I want that stuff to happen.
It’s just that, if you watch this game long enough, you realize how unlikely that is once a player starts to break down.