Rays trade Nathan Eovaldi to Red Sox
After the Boston Red Sox missed out on the pursuit of Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton to the New York Yankees, they rebounded by adding depth to their starting rotation with the acquisition of Nathan Eovaldi.
Eovaldi signed a two-year deal with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2017 knowing that the first year was going to be spent recovering and rehabbing from Tommy John Surgery. He came back this year to the tune of a 4.26 ERA in 10 starts.
With free agency coming around the corner, Eovaldi was well aware that his name would eventually be called on before the trade deadline. When he was swarmed by reporters after becoming a late scratch on Wednesday, it was clear that he would be putting on a new jersey.
“I assumed there was a possibility, of course, especially where I am in my career and the way my contract was for this year,” Eovaldi said. “I was assuming that I would be traded, but as for what team it would be, I wasn’t thinking about that at all.”
In the trade, the Tampa Bay Rays get pitching prospect Jalen Beeks. It’s a great move for the Rays because they get a starting pitcher they could count on for at least the next five years. The 25 year old has been a stud in the International League with a 2.89 ERA and 117 strikeouts in 87.1 innings for the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Beeks uses a 91-93 mph fastball that maxes out at 95 with a high spin rate and deception. He had trouble with his changeup in 2016 but turned into a mid-80s cutter that can be his top pitch at times.
Beeks made his MLB debut earlier this season but struggled in two appearances before being sent back down to Triple-A. If it was any other team, Beeks would likely finish out the minor league season and come back up in September. The Rays have been running out there with three starting pitchers and two bullpen games each week. Three out of five seems unsustainable for the Rays, so look out for Beeks going to Tampa Bay instead of Durham.
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