Ken Rosenthal reports that free agent pitcher Nathan Eovaldi has agreed to return to the Boston Red Sox. The deal is pending a physical. MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand says it will be a four-year deal worth $67.5 million.
Eovaldi split who began his 2018 season with the Rays and ended up with the Boston Red Sox, posted a 3.81 ERA with a 101/20 K/BB ratio in 111 innings during the regular season. He really made his money in the postseason, however, tossing 22.1 innings of 1.61 ERA ball, including his gutsy and instantly legendary six-inning relief performance in Game 3 of the World Series against the Dodgers.
Eovaldi will turn 29 before the 2019 season begins, but he is still a considerable health risk, having undergone two Tommy John surgeries in his career, most recently in 2016. The Red Sox, however, see him as a mainstay in the rotation for the next few years and believe he’s worth the gamble.
The White Sox have reportedly picked up first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians, according to Stadium. The return for Alonso is expected to be nothing more flashy than a “fringe prospect,” though the minutiae of the deal is still pending a formal announcement from both teams.
Alonso, 31, inked a two-year deal with the Indians during the 2017 offseason. His first campaign with the club yielded a modest .250/.317/.421 batting line, 23 home runs, .738 OPS and 0.7 fWAR in 574 PA. The real boon for the White Sox may not be a passable veteran bat, however, but something more intangible — like Alonso’s clout with his brother-in-law and highly-coveted free agent slugger, Manny Machado.
While Alonso’s 2018 output represented a significant decline from the career-best numbers he posted in 2017, he’s still a solid contributor at the plate and, more importantly, slated to remain under team control for the next two years with just $8 million owed in 2019 and a $9 million option in 2020. As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince notes, the $17 million the Indians just erased from their payroll should give them enough room to accommodate the contracts for right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — a bonus regardless of what they happen to get in the trade.