By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
If the New York Yankees can't land their first choice in free agency, they may try to poach one of the Red Sox' best pitchers from their World Series run.
Nathan Eovaldi is on a short list of players who the Yankees may target in free agency as a "Plan B", according to a tweet by Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. Lefty Patrick Corbin remains the team's top priority.
But if Corbin falls through for the Yanks, they may look to target Eovaldi, in addition to fellow free agents J.A. Happ and Lance Lynn. Eovaldi has also reportedly drawn interest from the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies.
Clearly, it won't be easy for Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox to retain Eovaldi. But it may be worth extending themselves a little bit to re-sign a pitcher who proved perhaps the most important thing for the Sox: the ability to pitch well in October, and pitch well against the Yankees in October at that.
Eovaldi posted a ridiculous 1.61 ERA in 22.1 postseason innings for the Red Sox, splitting time between starting and relieving. His most heroic playoff performance came as the tough-luck loser in the Red Sox' loss to the Dodgers in the 18-inning epic of Game 3. Max Muncy's home run in that game was the only home run Eovaldi allowed all postseason.
Ultimately, Eovaldi is likely a mid-rotation starter at best over the course of a regular season. But clearly, he has the ability to elevate himself in October and throws hard enough to be an effective reliever in addition to starting. Considering how well he pitches against the Yankees, it would benefit the Red Sox to keep him out of pinstripes, let alone in their uniform.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].