Nathan Eovaldi’s run with the Boston Red Sox reached its end this offseason when the right-handed starting pitcher signed a two-year, $34 million deal with the Texas Rangers.
Yet, after being introduced to the Rangers on Thursday, Eovaldi reminisced over the 2018 World Series victory with Boston.
After beginning his 2018 campaign with the division rival Tampa Bay Rays, Eovaldi was dealt to Boston before the Major League Baseball trade deadline. This move would both uplift the Red Sox and Eovaldi to the highest point of his career.
As he pitched out of the bullpen during the World Series, Eovaldi tossed eight innings in three appearances while sporting a 1.13 ERA against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The single run he allowed came during his heroic six-inning relief appearance in Game 3 — which ended after 18 innings.
“I felt like as soon as I joined the Red Sox, from being traded over from the Rays, it was just, we knew where we were at the time and there was one goal and that was to win the World Series,” Eovaldi said on MLB Network. “… That was my first time being able to play in the postseason, to go out there and be in the bright lights. It was my second time being with a team that was in the postseason. I tried to take everything in and enjoy the moment. It was an extremely fun ride for sure.”
Eovaldi further paid dividends to the Red Sox in the 2021 American League wild card playoff round against the New York Yankees.
He limited New York’s power-filled lineup to just one run and four hits through 5.1 innings, which punched Boston’s ticket to the AL Division Series.
After a successful five-year run in Boston, Eovaldi will join his sixth team in his 12th big league season.
Turning 33 before Opening Day, Eovaldi expressed his belief in a run for his second World Series ring. With the Rangers in a competitive AL West division, that won’t come easy. They have the defending champs in the Houston Astros and the up-and-coming Seattle Mariners in their way. Nevertheless, Eovaldi is confident and more than satisfied with the offseason job from the Rangers front office.
“It’s so close to home for me,” said Eovaldi, who is a Houston native. “Obviously the deal and the money was right. I think the organization too, knowing where they are, the young talent that they have, the willingness to go out there and spend money and just really go out and compete and win.
“We have all the guys that we need to go out there and do it. All the starting rotation pieces that we already added. For me, to be able to join this rotation, I’m excited about it. I think we have the young talent and obviously the offense to be able to go out there and win.”
Last season Eovaldi made 20 starts with the Red Sox. He went 6-3 with a 3.87 ERA and struck out 103 batters in 109.1 innings.
Eovaldi is scheduled to make his return to Fenway Park in 2023. The Rangers and Red Sox will first meet on July 4 for a three-game series.