Tom Caron of NESN reports that the Red Sox plan to use Nathan Eovaldi as their closer when he returns from the injured list.
Eovaldi underwent surgery on his right elbow to remove loose bodies back in April. He was originally expected back in mid-June but suffered a setback earlier this month, experiencing biceps soreness. His current timeline is unclear, but he is expected back this season. Meanwhile, the Red Sox bullpen is terrible, so you can see how this goes together.
Eovaldi appeared out of the bullpen for the Red Sox four times last postseason and those appearances played a big part in them signing him to a four-year, $68 million contract in December. Their plan — and his preference — was for him to start games, but given his long injury history, the Red Sox’ current needs, and the fact that he has pretty explosive stuff that would probably play very well in a relief role, it makes a lot of sense for the Sox to think about using him that way. At the very least it’s not some off-the-wall notion, as he was pursued as a potential closer by the Phillies last winter before he nixed the idea to sign with Boston.
The Marlins have announced that they have inked manager Don Mattingly to a two-year contract extensions. There’s a third year in the form of a mutual option.
Mattingly is finishing up the final year of the four-year contract he signed with the Marlins prior to the 2016 season. He’s 272-364 in that period and the club has lost 99 games already this season. The current bad run, however, obviously corresponds with a massive rebuild the team began undertaking following the 2017 season and the team’s change in ownership. Mattingly has not had much to work with over the past two seasons but he has likewise, largely, kept the team on as even a keel as one could hope under the circumstances. He has certainly impressed the Marlins’ brass enough to take the unusual step of keeping on a manager they inherited from a previous ownership and front office group.
In other news, the Marlins also announced a two-year contract extension for shortstop Miguel Rojas valued at $10.25 million. There’s a vesting option for a third year. The deal buys out Rojas’ final year of arbitration eligibility and one year of free agency, plus that option.
Rojas, 30, is hitting .285/.335/.383 (OPS+ 92) this year.