Negotiations between Red Sox, Nathan Eovaldi ‘intensifying’

Red Sox ink pitcher Eovaldi to four-year contract

Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, the two-time Tommy John surgery survivor and recent postseason hero for the World Series champion Boston Red Sox, has agreed to return to Boston, sources said Thursday morning. The terms of the contract have not been released, but the deal is reportedly in the ballpark of four-years, $68 million, according to Fancred's Jon Heyman.

"We're very happy to have Nathan back with us", Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said.

Eovaldi is one of the few free agents from the championship team, giving the 108-win AL East champions a chance to repeat with virtually the same roster. Eovaldi worked both as a starter and a high-leverage, multi-inning reliever in October, regularly pumping triple-digit fastballs as he became one of manager Alex Cora's most trusted playoff weapons.

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Heyman reported on Thursday that the Yankees' next target is pitcher J.A. Happ, who spent several months with the team a year ago after being acquired in a trade with the Blue Jays.

Eovaldi was acquired for left-hander Jalen Beeks in a July trade and pitched to a 3.33 ERA in 12 appearances.

The 36-year-old Happ has a career ERA of 3.90 with 1,357 strikeouts and a 109-82 record. He missed the final seven weeks of the 2016 season, the entire 2017 season, and the first two months of the 2018 season. Eovaldi salvaged the bullpen with a heroic six-inning effort that endeared him to Red Sox Nation. Given Boston's uncertainty beyond the top three in the rotation - Eduardo Rodriguez, Steven Wright and Brian Johnson are among the options for the final two spots - it seems logical to expect that Eovaldi's high-octane arm would serve to deepen the starting staff. He had arthroscopic surgery late in spring training to remove loose bodies in his pitching elbow and did not make his season debut until May 30 - his first major league game since August 10, 2016.

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