Xander Bogaerts might not be the only Red Sox player Phillies executive Dave Dombrowski could pursue.
The Philadelphia Phillies starting rotation shined for most of the postseason — with stellar performances from Zack Wheeler and Ranger Suárez. It would be huge for the pitching staff to receive some help with the addition of another arm, especially with the likely departures of Kyle Gibson and Noah Syndergaard. The name fans should start looking at is Nathan Eovaldi, who recently declined his qualifying offer from the Boston Red Sox.
A hard-throwing righty, Eovaldi has never lived up to the potential some fans thought he had. However, he has turned in a very good career since his 2011 MLB debut. Eovaldi’s 2018 postseason run was one of the greatest in recent history — most notably throwing six innings in relief during an 18-inning World Series thriller. His 3.79 ERA since the 2020 COVID-19 season is something Philadelphia could work with.
The Phillies could attempt to sign a bigger name on the market, such as a Jacob deGrom or Justin Verlander. These options would be ideal, but there is no telling if Dombrowski will want to “break the bank” for either of those injury-prone pitchers entering the latter stages of their careers. Eovaldi will likely cost them half the price, while providing quality innings and breathing room for a superstar infielder.
Eovaldi’s arm might be starting to wear out soon, having completed two Tommy John surgeries throughout his career. His fastball velocity still sits at a potent 95.8 miles per hour, although somewhat of a dip from years ago. He will be 33 years old when the 2023 season commences, so a deal for approximately three years and $18 million each season seems fair.
If the offense is the Phillies’ priority this offseason, there will simply not be enough room to sign a pitcher of Verlander’s caliber. Assuming that the Phillies can land one of the highly coveted position players on the market, Eovaldi is a perfect option to be their third starter. The hot stove is just starting to heat up, so it will be interesting to see what areas of the game the Phillies front office feels the team lacks.