Another day, another prominent reported suitor for free agent pitcher Nathan Eovaldi.
MLB free agency has reached its crescendo as big-name stars like Justin Verlander, Jacob deGrom, Trea Turner, Aaron Judge, Xander Bogaerts and now Carlos Correa have all made their respective decisions.
The best remaining unsigned player might be left-handed pitcher Carlos Rodón, who is apparently intent on letting things play out before making his decision. But once Rodón signs, it could have a domino effect for someone like Eovaldi.
Take the New York Yankees for example. The Bronx Bombers are hot on Rodón, and he would be the perfect addition to an already-stacked rotation led by Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes. If the Yankees are outbid for Rodón, however, the New York Post’s Jon Heyman says Eovaldi could be their backup plan if the Yankees can’t find a middle ground after reaching an impasse in talks with Rodon.
“The Yankees believe Rodón wants to come to New York, but if they can’t bridge their difference, they may turn to their next choice, believed to be ex-Yankee Nathan Eovaldi,” Heyman wrote.
Eovaldi spent the 2015 and 2016 seasons in the Bronx, winning a career-high 14 games in his first season with New York.
If the Yankees truly have interest in Eovaldi, that’s obviously great news for the soon-to-be 33-year-old. Getting a big-market team like the Yankees involved is beneficial to any player. Eovaldi’s market looked like it was growing with the New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays reportedly in on the right-hander. However, the Mets reportedly viewed him as a backup to Kodai Senga, who they were able to reel in, and Toronto reportedly struck a deal with Chris Bassitt.
It’s unclear whether those teams still have an earnest interest in Eovaldi. If they don’t, and if Rodón signs with the Yankees, it could open the door for a return to Boston. Eovaldi rejected the qualifying offer from the Red Sox, and the club reportedly offered him a multiyear deal earlier in the offseason.
Eovaldi went 6-3 with a 3.87 ERA in 2022, striking out 103 batters in 109 1/3 innings pitched.