Eovaldi is one of the more fascinating cases in this free agent class — the 28 year old has a huge fastball and has enticed with his potential for years, and seemed to break out for Boston after the BoSox acquired him from the Tampa Bay Rays at the deadline, putting up a 3.33 ERA in 54 innings. He also had a great postseason, including a memorable 6 inning, one run relief outing on one day rest in the 18 inning Game 3 of the World Series.
That said, Eovaldi has a career 96 ERA+ in 850 innings and two Tommy John surgeries in his past. His K rate is up, and he does appear to be an improved pitcher now from prior years, but there’s a fair amount of risk here, given Eovaldi has a limited track record of high level performance and a significant injury risk.
At $17 million per year, Eovaldi isn’t costing a ridiculous amount, and Boston has the sort of payroll that can absorb the hit if Eovaldi’s arm blows up or he regresses. I don’t think its necessarily a bad deal for Boston — but it is a high risk one.