BOSTON – (Staff Report from Official News Release) – Boston Red Sox today signed right-handed pitcher Nathan Eovaldi to a four-year contract through the 2022 season. The club’s 40-man roster is now at 40.
President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski made the announcement.
“We’re very happy to have Nathan back with us,” Dombrowski said. “He did a tremendous job for us last season, playing a significant role in helping us win the division and the World Series. His performance in the Postseason was outstanding, both as a starting pitcher and as a reliever.”
Eovaldi, 28, returned to the majors in 2018 after missing the entire 2017 season recovering from Tommy John surgery. In 22 appearances (21 starts) between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Red Sox, the right-hander went 6-7 with a 3.81 ERA (47 ER/111.0 IP), a 1.13 WHIP, 101 strikeouts, and only 20 walks. After being acquired from the Rays in exchange for left-handed pitcher Jalen Beeks on July 25, Eovaldi posted a 3.33 ERA (20 ER/54.0 IP) in 12 regular season outings (11 starts) for Boston, making three scoreless starts of at least 6.0 innings.
Among pitchers with at least 100.0 innings in 2018, Eovaldi ranked fourth in the American League in walks per nine innings (1.62), as well as sixth in strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.05). He held right-handed hitters to a .252 on-base percentage with 54 strikeouts against only five walks, and did not allow a home run to any of his final 194 righties faced, including in the postseason. In addition, left-handed batters were only 4-for-53 (.075) with one extra-base hit and a .329 OPS against Eovaldi from September 1 through the end of the World Series.
In the regular season, Eovaldi posted a 2.66 ERA (13 ER/44.0 IP) in eight starts against teams that qualified for the postseason. Including his outing in Game 3 of the American League Division Series, he made four starts against the New York Yankees as a member of the Red Sox, going 2-0 with a 0.39 ERA (1 ER/23.0 IP), a .367 opponent OPS, zero home runs allowed, 18 strikeouts, and only three walks. Eovaldi allowed three hits in 8.0 scoreless innings against the Yankees on August 4, then surrendered only two hits in 6.0 scoreless frames at Yankee Stadium on September 18. In his ALDS start, he gave up one run in 7.0 innings in Boston’s 16-1 victory.
In six postseason appearances, including two starts, Eovaldi went 2-1 with a 1.61 ERA (4 ER/22.1 IP), a .185 opponent batting average, 16 strikeouts, and three walks. In the ALCS against the Houston Astros, he started Game 3 and gave up two runs in 6.0 innings, then threw 1.1 scoreless innings in the decisive Game 5. He appeared in each of the first three games of the World Series, throwing a perfect eighth inning in Game 1 and again in Game 2. In the Red Sox’ 3-2, 18-inning loss at Dodger Stadium in Game 3, Eovaldi started the 12thinning and pitched the rest of the way, allowing one run in his first 6.0 frames before Max Muncy led off the 18th inning with a walk-off home run.