MLB rumors: Why teams might be wary of free agent Nathan Eovaldi

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MLB rumors: Why teams might be wary of free agent Nathan Eovaldi originally appeared on nbcsportsboston.com

Boston Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi is one of the top pitchers on the MLB free agent market, but despite his impressive 2018 season, there are a few reasons why teams in need of pitching might pass on the right-hander during free agency.

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The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo laid out those reasons in a recent column:

"A few weeks ago we listed nine teams that have interest in Eovaldi," Cafardo wrote. "A factor that makes some of those teams hesitate is the two Tommy John surgeries he's endured, as well as the extra use in the postseason, which sometimes affects pitchers the following season. Will Eovaldi be immune from this? Eovaldi pitched only 111 innings during the 2018 regular season with Tampa Bay and Boston, but 22⅓ innings for the Red Sox in the postseason. But no one can deny his youth (28), velocity (capable of hitting 101 miles per hour), and the fact that nothing seems to faze him."

Eovaldi's injury history isn't great, and Tommy John surgeries certainly are a concern, but recency bias is a real thing and the last memory teams have of him is a dominant postseason.

The 28-year-old made six appearances in Boston's run to a 2018 World Series title. He went 2-1 with a 1.61 ERA, a 0.81 WHIP, 16 strikeouts and three walks over 22 1/3 innings. That's pretty good, and the fact he can serve in a starting role or come out of the bullpen shows his impressive versatility. 

After the marquee free agents come off the market, most notably Patrick Corbin among starting pitchers, Eovaldi should receive plenty of interest. One team that's interested is the New York Yankees.

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