It is clear the Washington Nationals want to acquire a frontline starter this offseason, could Nathan Eovaldi be that guy?
It is no secret that the Washington Nationals are going to be aggressive in going after a quality starting pitcher this offseason. While they may favor some of the southpaws on the market, Nathan Eovaldi is also an option for the team.
After the dip in production from their starters last season, the Nats’ front office has made it clear they want to bring in someone who can make a big impact. The team has had early contact with left-hander Patrick Corbin, who is thought of as the best free agent pitcher on the market.
While Corbin would be a huge upgrade for the Nationals rotation, with teams like the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies bidding against them, the price may just be too steep for Washington. So even though they have made contact with Corbin, according to Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post, the team has also reached out to the representatives of Nathan Eovaldi.
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Before the 2018 postseason, unless you were an avid baseball fan you probably wouldn’t even know who Eovaldi was. But this fall he helped make a name for himself, helping propel the Boston Red Sox to a World Series title and positioned himself as one of the top free agent starters on the market.
In 22.1 innings this postseason Eovaldi posted a 1.61 ERA and recorded key holds in games one and two of the World Series. The 28-year-old right-hander is a starter, but with his electric 100mph fastball was able to provide an impact also out of the bullpen for the Red Sox on their quest to a title.
The 2018 regular season was arguably the best of Eovaldi’s career, as in 21 starts he recorded a 6-7 record with a 3.81 ERA in 111 innings. Eovaldi really came on at the end of the year after being traded from the Tampa Bay Rays to the Red Sox, and with Boston in 11 starts went 3-3 with a 3.33 ERA in 54 innings.
Eovaldi is a guy with electric stuff, who finally started to put it all together in 2018. For the Nationals, he would bring them a boost to their rotation, and also would bring versatility and postseason experience. Outside of Max Scherzer no Nationals started has pitched more than 20 innings in the postseason, and Eovaldi was able to do this successfully and help lead his team to a championship.
It remains to be seen if he can continue on his 2018 success, but the real question the Nationals have to answer is if Eovaldi finally figured it out this season and whether he can carry on that production for years to come.
Eovaldi will probably get a three or four-year deal this offseason, so Washington will have to make a multi-year commitment to him if they are going to try to add him to their team. Eovaldi also does come with an injury history. He has already had Tommy John surgery two times in his career, albeit he did come back from his second one looking better than ever.
Don’t look for the Washington Nationals to be a frontrunner to bring in Nathan Eovaldi, with some fierce competition for his signature. However, with the urgency to sign a frontline starting pitcher, he could be a solid Plan B if the Nats are not able to bring in their top targets.