The Boston Red Sox watched last night as their chances to acquire Baltimore's star closer Zach Britton went by the wayside as the Yankees packaged a trio of young pitchers, headlined by Top-10 prospect RHP Dillon Tate. Since then, Boston decided to go after the next best thing, insurance for the starting rotation. They got that insurance in Nathan Eovaldi, who has quietly been having a decent season for the Tampa Bay Rays after missing all of 2017 and parts of 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. The 28-year-old has pitched to a 4.26 ERA over 10 starts in 2018, amassing a quality 53/8 K/BB ratio, and a 0.982 WHIP over 57.0 innings.
Headed to Tampa
Tampa Bay will receive southpaw Jalen Beeks from Boston in return for Eovaldi. Beeks, who's seen plenty of action at Boston's Triple-A affiliate Pawtucket, also made his MLB debut for Boston on June 7th and appeared in two games, starting one. Beeks' time with the Red Sox was short, as he got shelled for nine earned runs over 6.1 innings while walking four and striking out five. However, he has dominated Triple-A hitters.
Beeks, who turned 25 on July 10th, owns a much more compelling 2.89 ERA for Pawtucket while striking out a staggering 117 hitters over only 87.1 innings, leading to an impressive 12.1 K/9. Beeks started games for both Double-A Portland as well as Triple-A Pawtucket last season, amassing an 11-8 record over 26 total starts, recording a 2.19 ERA in Portland and 3.86 in Pawtucket, which gives the impression he's making quality progress in his development.
Beeks has been known to throw a four-seam and two-seam fastball. His four-seamer sits around 90-92 miles per hour and occasionally reaches 95 miles per hour while his two-seamer hangs between 87-89 miles per hour with excellent movement. However, he loses some velocity when he pitches deeper into games. Beeks also throws a cutter which he created from a scrapped slider that sits around 87-90 miles per hour with highly touted movement in on right-handed hitters, although he has the confidence to throw it against left-handed hitters as well. Beeks also owns a changeup and curveball in his arsenal, but both pitches are considered average pitches as opposed to reliable go-tos.
Not done yet
Tampa Bay and Boston should both benefit from this deal. The Red Sox have worries about the pitching ability of Drew Pomeranz, while Eduardo Rodriguez suffered a right ankle sprain and is currently on the 10-day DL, so having Eovaldi gives them the comfort of knowing they have plenty of MLB quality starting pitchers.
Tampa Bay, meanwhile, can continue their youth movement by acquiring a young and highly talented left-handed starter with great strikeout ability. Although neither team is likely done with trades yet, Boston is still hungry for a late reliever and Tampa Bay is still looking to offload a few veterans and contemplate whether to make ace Chris Archer available to teams via trade. The July 31st non-waiver trade deadline is in six days, so expect to hear these two teams in rumors every step of the way.