The Eovaldi signing comes two days after the Washington Nationals locked up the winter’s consensus top starting pitcher, lefty Patrick Corbin, to a reported six-year, $140 million deal.
While the remaining stock of available starting pitchers is relatively weak — headed by lefties Dallas Keuchel and J.A. Happ and right-hander Charlie Morton — there continues to be a strong presence of impact starters available on the trade market. The New York Yankees pried lefty James Paxton away from Seattle, and former Cy Young Award winners Corey Kluber (Cleveland) and Zack Greinke (Arizona) are also being shopped.
The 2019 Red Sox, thus, will look much like they did in 2018, particularly in the rotation, where Eovaldi will join holdovers Chris Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello and Eduardo Rodriguez in forming one of the top units in the game.
Eovaldi’s dazzling postseason run undoubtedly added tens of millions of dollars to his value this winter, but he is not without risk. Largely due to his elbow injuries and surgeries, he has made 30 or more starts only once in his career, and he sports a career ERA of 4.16. On the plus side, his odometer reads only 850 big league innings, and his fastball averaged 97 mph in 2018 and touched triple-digits in the postseason.