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Carlos Zambrano says he wants to make comeback

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It was over four years ago the last time we heard from Carlos Zambrano. At that time it had been two years since he had last pitched, he had ditched a comeback attempt and said he was happily retired and at peace without baseball in his life.

Things change. Flash forward to 2018 and his agent, Barry Praver, tells Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune that Big Z would like to pitch in the major leagues again. Which, hey, OK!

It’s not at all likely to happen, however. He has reportedly lost 30 pounds since his big league days and is pitching in the Venezuelan winter league after pitching in the Mexican League earlier this year, but his results have been fairly terrible. Between that, a six-year big league layoff and the fact that, when he was in the bigs, he ticked off basically everyone he ever encountered, the odds of anyone giving him a chance are beyond slim. Indeed, I’d say zero.

The crazy thing about it is that Zambrano is still only 37 years-old. That makes him younger than Rich Hill. Younger than Adrian Beltre, Fernando Rodney, Ben Zobrist and, if my cursory look is correct, about 31 other players who were active in 2018. Still, heavy workloads early in Zambrano’s career caught up to him, as he failed to crack 200 innings after age 26, ceased being an effective pitcher at age 29, and last appeared in the majors at age 31.

Still: he earned nearly $115 million for his career and made three All-Star games, posting a 3.66 ERA in 1,959 innings. He may not have a comeback in him, but he did OK for himself before he left.

Report: Nathan Eovaldi drawing interest from at least nine teams

Nathan Eovaldi
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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.