The Boston Red Sox might have had some competition in their pursuit of Nathan Eovaldi.
The Red Sox ultimately landed Eovaldi, acquiring him from the Tampa Bay Rays earlier this week in exchange for pitching prospect Jalen Beeks, but a major league source told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford the Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves showed strong interest in the veteran right-hander before he was traded to Boston.
The Astros’ interest obviously is more significant from Boston’s perspective, as they are the defending World Series champions and, like the Red Sox, among the best teams in the American League this season. The Red Sox might need to go through the Astros in order to reach the Fall Classic.
It’s also interesting because Houston already has a stacked rotation featuring Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers and Charlie Morton. Perhaps the Astros considered Eovaldi with an eye toward transitioning him to the bullpen, where Houston could use help with the Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline coming up next Tuesday.
The Red Sox plan to use Eovaldi as a starter for now, with Eduardo Rodriguez and Steven Wright working their way back from injuries. They haven’t ruled out using him out of the bullpen at some point, though, despite the hard-throwing 28-year-old making just seven relief appearances in his big league career.