Nathan Eovaldi Admits It Would Be ‘Hard’ To Leave Red Sox In Free Agency

Nathan Eovaldi isn’t closing the door on returning to the Boston Red Sox.

Eovaldi is a free agent this offseason and should land a nice contract based on his age (he turns 29 in February), upside and remarkable playoff performance with the Red Sox. This could result in the right-hander signing elsewhere, but Boston remains very much on Eovaldi’s radar.

“I enjoyed my time over there a lot,” Eovaldi said this week on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM. “When I got traded over there, they made me feel right at home, right away. And then doing everything I did in the postseason, the fans they’ve just showed me so much amount of love and support, it’s definitely going to be hard to leave there if it doesn’t work out.”

The Red Sox acquired Eovaldi from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for pitching prospect Jalen Beeks back in July. He immediately made an impact, tossing seven shutout innings against the Minnesota Twins and eight scoreless frames against the New York Yankees in his first two outings with Boston. But Eovaldi saved his best work for the postseason, serving as both a starter and a “rover” reliever for manager Alex Cora as the Red Sox went 11-3 en route to winning the World Series.

Interestingly enough, the highlight of Eovaldi’s impressive run with Boston came in the team’s only World Series loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He threw 97 pitches over six innings of relief in Game 3, just two days after pitching the eighth inning for a second consecutive day. It was an inspirational effort that left his Red Sox teammates literally in tears after Max Muncy’s walk-off home run against Eovaldi gave the Dodgers a 3-2 win in the longest game in World Series history.

So, will the Red Sox re-sign the postseason hero? It’s possible but perhaps unlikely given the potential price tag, Boston’s other financial obligations and the looming free agencies of several franchise cornerstones in the coming years. That said, it shouldn’t be ruled out, especially with Eovaldi expressing interest in returning to the defending champs.

Either way, Eovaldi will go down in Red Sox history for his contributions this season.

Thumbnail photo via Patrick Gorski/USA TODAY Sports Images

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