Red Sox Acquire Nathan Eovaldi From Rays
With their swap on Wednesday, the Red Sox acquired rotation depth for their stretch run and the Rays added another intriguing arm to a farm system that already ranks as one of the best in baseball.
Boston traded with Tampa Bay to acquire Nathan Eovaldi, a righthander with an extremely nasty arsenal but considerable injury risk. He’s already had two Tommy John surgeries and missed the early portion of this season after loose bodies were found in his elbow. But when he's been on the mound, he's been effective. He went 3-4, 4.29 in 10 starts with the Rays.
To acquire Eovaldi, Boston parted with lefthander Jalen Beeks, who over the past year has emerged as one of the top arms in the system. He ranks second in the Triple-A International League with 117 strikeouts, just 14 behind White Sox prospect Michael Kopech.
The Rays, who sit 18.5 games out of first place in the AL East and 8.5 back of the wild card, have plenty more to trade, including righthander Chris Archer and, when he returns to full health, catcher Wilson Ramos as well.
Jalen Beeks, LHP
Beeks ranked sixth on the Red Sox's Midseason Top 10 Prospects list, up from 11th during the offseason. The key to Beeks’ emergence as a prospect lies with his cutter, which was developed last year and further refined in 2018. He’s added that weapon to a mix that also included an 88-94 mph fastball, as well as a curveball and changeup that each project as average pitches. His fastball plays up to potentially above-average because of the extension he gets in his delivery and the pitch's movement. As he explained to Baseball America Red Sox correspondent Alex Speier, it's his ability to mix pitches that is the key to his effectiveness.
"Unless you have Noah Syndergaard stuff—guys who can throw it down the middle at 100 (mph)—you’ve got to be able to do something different at 90-93," he said. "Just being able to (mix pitches) has opened up a lot of holes in swings.”
Beeks is essentially big league ready (he's made two appearances for Boston this year) and projects as a useful back-of-the-rotation starter.
RED SOX ACQUIRE:
Nathan Eovaldi, RHP
As noted earlier, Eovaldi’s injury history is lengthy but his stuff is tremendous. His fastball, which has averaged 97 mph this year, ranks as the sixth-hardest in baseball among pitchers who have thrown 50 or more innings. He complements the pitch with a low-90s cutter and a slider, and has whiffed just less than 8.5 hitters per nine innings this season. He has, however, allowed 11 home runs in just 57 innings. Eovaldi will be a free agent at the end of the season. As a player traded in the season before free agency, he is not eligible for a qualifying offer or draft pick compensation for the Red Sox after the season.