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Tim Dierkes: Industry wants to love Nathan Eovaldi

Rob Bradford
November 14, 2018 - 9:14 am

The Nathan Eovaldi market is certainly in the crosshairs of anyone following the Red Sox' offseason maneuvering. 

Not only will the pitcher's free agent status be of particular interest because of the perceived interest by Dave Dombrowski and Co., but also due to the unique nature Eovaldi's case represents. He is the youngest starting pitcher on the market, coming off an epic postseason run while possessing some of the best stuff in the big leagues. But there is an uneasy track record heading into this offseason, which includes two Tommy John surgeries.

Appearing on the Bradfo Sho podcast, Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors discussed how he viewed a player his team projects will get a contract in the vicinity of four years, $60 million.

"Out of the gate he didn’t feel to me like a four-year guy," Dierkes said. "He doesn’t have the innings or durability to get there. If you look at some of the comparable contracts, I think if he gets a four-year deal, which is my current guess, that it would be fairly unprecedented. We looked at Brandon McCarthy who had a pretty spotty injury history before he got one, but he was coming off a 200-inning season and that’s not true of Eovaldi at all. Sometimes me and my team get a little caught up in the comparables in what happened before and forget that free agency is just a bidding war. You hear so many teams would love to sign Eovaldi in particular and you know that even though the money keeps going and going it’s still going to stop I think well short of (Patrick) Corbin. Even if it’s not four years, $60 (million) but four years somehow $70 (million) would be a real ceiling on a guy with his history, but still a lot less than Corbin is going to cost and if you think they are going to be comparable pitchers than there you go.

"I think Eovaldi is a guy the industry probably has wanted to love for a long time because the stuff looks so good. He has never seemed to get those strikeouts that you would expect with it. So at least with the Red Sox he started to. He looked great in the playoffs. He left a great last impression. I think too that some of the teams that are maybe on the rebuild type of cycle but trying to pull out of it they can look at a guy like him. So I think interest is going to be wide-spread."

Another aspect of Eovaldi's free agency that should be interesting is how much his postseason dominance will impact the pitcher's payday.

"Sometimes it’s tough because what is the cause and what is the effect," Dierkes explained. "You remember when Daniel Murphy went nuts. He did not get paid from that. So it doesn’t always happen. He got three years, $37 million. He could have got a lot more if people were suddenly were buying into it. The funny thing about him is he should have (gotten paid) and it would have been good and it would have been smart because it was him showing he changed as a hitter. I think free agency can be very irrational. I think it really does matter. As much as the GMs are making the call, if you’re talking $50 million or more I certainly think the owners have some kind of presence in those discussions. I don’t want to characterize as dumb or reactionary.

To listen to the podcast, click here.