The Texas Rangers announced they agreed to terms with free agent starter Nathan Eovaldi on a two-year deal with a vesting player option for the 2025 season. The financial terms of the contract have not been released, but it was reportedly worth $34 million.
The Los Angeles Angels were linked to the right-hander in their search for an additional starting pitcher, but he instead signed with another American League West opponent.
“I’m elated that we have added another standout pitcher to our rotation in Nathan Eovaldi,” Rangers executive vice president and general manager Chris Young said. “Nathan has quality stuff and an unmatched work ethic, and he’ll provide a veteran presence to the staff. The depth of our starting pitching will be a real asset for the 2023 Texas Rangers.”
Eovaldi will turn 33 before the 2023 season gets underway, and following a season in which he posted a 6-3 record, 3.87 ERA, and a 4.30 FIP, he earned another the second multi-year deal of his career.
His prior two seasons produced a combined ERA of 3.80, but this past season, his average fastball velocity took a slight dip, perhaps due to injuries that limited him to 109.1 innings pitched.
Eovaldi leads all A.L. pitchers since the start of 2020 in both walks per nine innings (1.64) and strikeouts per walk (5.65). He earned his first All-Star selection following his 2021 performance but became a Boston Red Sox staple after his showing in the 2018 postseason that culminated in a World Series title over the L.A. Dodgers.
He joined Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan as the only graduates of Alvin High School in Texas to reach the Major Leagues. Eovaldi had been the Red Sox opening Day starter the last three seasons, and now joins a rotation of Jacob deGrom, Martín Pérez, Jon Gray, and Andrew Heaney.
The Rangers dished out multiple multi-year deals to starting pitching this offseason, mainly to prop up the spotty bullpen, but to also help supplement their potent offense that was too often held back because of pitching.
Angels had inquired about Nathan Eovaldi prior to signing with Texas
The Angels went out and signed veteran left-hander Tyler Anderson to a three-year deal, providing them with a solid top of the rotation arm, but they may not be done adding to their pitching staff.
Their rotation currently includes Shohei Ohtani, Patrick Sandoval, Reid Detmers, José Suarez and Anderson, but they would ideally like to run a six-man rotation. Utilizing six pitchers for their rotation is what they did during the 2022 season to give Ohtani more time off even though they would like him to pitch as much as possible next season.
Eovaldi seemed like a potentially fantastic addition to a young core of starters to go alongside their terrific front end.
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