Should the Baltimore Orioles Consider Signing Nathan Eovaldi?
With the free agent market thinning and the Baltimore Orioles still searching for one more starting pitcher, the Orioles and free agent right-hander Nathan Eovaldi appear to be a good match.
With the signing of Kyle Gibson at the start of the Winter Meetings, the Orioles likely found a replacement for Jordan Lyles, who’s $11 million option they declined earlier this offseason. Gibson presumably joins some combination of Kyle Bradish, Dean Kremer, Grayson Rodriguez, Kyle Bradish and Austin Voth in the rotation.
Nathan Eovaldi would help supplement the Baltimore Orioles 2023 Rotation
But if there is room for one more–and many fans hope there is–the Baltimore Orioles should turn their attention to Eovaldi. The 32 year-old Eovaldi spent his last five seasons in Boston after a 2018 mid-season trade with the Tampa Bay Rays for left-hander Jalen Beeks. Aside from pitching for the Red Sox and Rays, Eovaldi has pitched for the Yankees, Marlins, and Dodgers. The Orioles and Blue Jays are the only two unchecked boxes on his American League East bingo card.
Eovaldi’s best season case in 2021, when he went 11-9, registered a 3.75 ERA, struck out over one batter an inning, and compiled a career-high 4.6 wins above replacement (WAR). Eovaldi struggled with injuries in 2022, starting only 20 games and registering a 6-3 record with a 3.87 ERA. Eovaldi throws a four seam fastball that averages 95.7 miles per hour and tops out at 100, as well as a splitter, curveball, slider, and cutter.
The market has been slow to develop for Eovaldi. MLBTradeRumors predicted that he would resign with Boston for 2 years, $34 million. Similarly, another site has predicted that Eovaldi would sign a 2 year, $35 million deal with the Red Sox. However, Boston have not shown any clear interest in retaining him, having spent heavily on supplementing their bullpen this offseason.
Our friends with the Red Sox FanSided site predicted Eovaldi would sign with the Phillies this offseason. However, with the Phillies signing Taijuan Walker to a 4 year $72M contract, it is unlikely that they would commit to another multi-year contract with a free agent starter.
Other teams who were searching for free agent starting pitching have found their guys: the Yankees signed Carlos Rodon; the Phillies signed Walker; the Mets signed Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga, and Jose Quintana; the Dodgers supplemented their rotation with Noah Syndergaard; the Blue Jays added Chris Bassitt.
In a game of pitching musical chairs, Nathan Eovaldi may be the last pitcher standing for the Baltimore Orioles–and the Orioles may be the last team standing for Eovaldi. There are certainly other teams who could be in the market for another starter, such as the San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals, and Minnesota Twins. However, with the only rotation addition being Kyle Gibson, and significant inexperience in the Orioles’ rotation, Nathan Eovaldi and the Baltimore Orioles appear to be a good match for each other.