I’ve been doing a fun little thing over at the HardballTalk Twitter account for the past couple of days: counting down the top-100 free agents, with a little blurb about each.
The rankings are fueled, primarily, by Matthew Pouliot’s free agent rankings over at Rotoworld. The rankings are not absolute player rankings or ranking about inherent value or how big a bargain they may be on the market. Rather, those rankings are based, primarily, on how teams might value these guys, going from the largest expected contracts to the smallest. I’ve made a couple of changes — a few guys have signed or have had their options picked up so, in their place, I’m putting wild cards — and in some places I’m making jokes. Mostly, it’s just another way to share Matthew’s great work and to freak people out who follow the HBT Twitter feed, assuming it’s always going to be a bot.
For those of you not on Twitter — which should be all of you, really, as you’ll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy than Twitter — here is #100-81, which were posted yesterday. Tomorrow I’ll do a post with #80-61, etc. on through Friday.
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.