MLB Rumors: Nathan Eovaldi and the Texas Rangers have agreed to terms on a free agent deal, per reports. Jeff Passan says it is a 2 year, $34 million deal with a third year vesting option and performance bonuses.
Eovaldi, who turns 33 in February, is a Texas native who was drafted by the Dodgers out of Alvin High School in 2008. He bounced around and had limited success until 2018, when he put up a 3.81 ERA in 111 innings, mostly in the rotation, between Boston and Tampa Bay. He then re-upped with the Red Sox on a four year deal, was bad in 2019, but was good after that. He finished fourth in the Cy Young Award balloting in 2021, when he made 32 starts and had a 3.75 ERA along with an America League leading 2.79 FIP.
This deal is pretty much in line with projections for Eovaldi heading into the offseason which, given how we have seen deals exceed expectations, means this is probably lower than one would have guessed a week or two ago. The Rangers do forfeit their third round pick for signing Eovaldi, having already lost their second rounder after signing Jacob deGrom.
The Rangers have signed three high beta guys this offseason in deGrom, Eovaldi and Andrew Heaney, all of whom have checkered pasts as far as injuries go, but who also have shown the ability to perform at a high level. If everyone is healthy, this would seem to bump Jake Odorizzi to the bullpen as a long man/spot starter and Dane Dunning to AAA, though everyone isn’t likely to stay healthy all season.
The Rangers have an impressive and deep rotation, one that would be among the best in the league if everyone is healthy and performs up to capabilities. There is still a need for a DH/COF, which I suspect we will see filled at some point in the next couple of months, but I don’t think anyone can complain about the state of the pitching staff.
UPDATE — More financial details from Passan:
Details on Nathan Eovaldi’s deal with Texas, per source:— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 28, 2022
Base: two years at $34M
Bonuses: up to $3M a year if he reaches 160 IP, which he did in 2021
Player option: If he throws 300 innings from 2023-24, $20M option in 2025 with another $3M in bonuses
Max: three years, $63M
UPDATE II — The Eovaldi deal is official. To make room on the 40 man roster for Eovaldi, the Rangers have designated Nick Mears for assignment. Mears was claimed on waivers from Pittsburgh last week.