Nathan Eovaldi Traded to Red Sox, Rays Acquire Jalen Beeks

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 25, 2018

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Nathan Eovaldi delivers during the third inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees, Friday, June 15, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Adam Hunger/Associated Press

The Tampa Bay Rays announced Wednesday they traded starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for pitcher Jalen Beeks.

After undergoing Tommy John surgery that kept him out for 2017, Eovaldi returned in the 2018 season and has produced a 3-4 record, 4.26 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 53 strikeouts in 10 starts.

The New York Yankees released him two offseasons ago after he went 9-8 with a 4.76 ERA and 1.31 WHIP primarily as a starter in 2016.

New York acquired the now-28-year-old righty before the 2015 season in a trade with the Miami Marlins. Eovaldi went 14-3, led the American League with an .824 winning percentage and had a 4.20 ERA and 1.45 WHIP.

He went 5-1 with a 3.67 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 56.1 innings in the second half of that season, but an elbow injury cut short his year.

While Eovaldi is among the hardest-throwing starting pitchers in Major League Baseball, he's an enigma. He has never posted a WHIP under 1.30 in a full season—often due to a lack of pitch movement and deception.

Eovaldi is as streaky as they come, but he has shown flashes of being a solid starter this season, and the Rays got a solid return out of him in Beeks, who was the Red Sox's No. 15 overall prospect, per MLB.com.

Eovaldi figures to slot in at the back end of Boston's rotation for the remainder of this season, and while it is possible his inconsistency could burn them, one of his signature hot streaks could make him a huge steal.