The Rangers made another rotation addition. They are said to agree with Nathan Ivaldi On a two-year deal with a vesting/player option for the 2025 campaign. The ACES agent will be paid $16 million in salary each of the next two seasons with at least a $2 million buyout option. The option — which is valued at $20 million — would start as an option player if Eovaldi threw a combined 300 innings from 2023-24. The contract, which could amount to a maximum of $63 million over three seasons if Eovaldi reaches all of his role-based incentives, is pending.
Ivaldi has spent the past four seasons with the Red Sox. Boston first acquired a righty from the Rays at the 2018 trade deadline, adding the impending free agent to a playoff push. Eovaldi was excellent in 12 regular season appearances, then added 22 1/3 innings of 1.61 balls in the post-season. At the end of the year, Boston rewarded him for completing a four-year, $68 million free agent deal.
The decade looked shaky in the first year, as Eovaldi posted a southerly ERA of 6.00 in 2019 — a season in which he missed a good chunk of the action due to loose objects in his elbow. He righted the ship in the second season, however, posting a 3.72 ERA with nine strikeouts during the shortened 2020 campaign.
Eovaldi followed with perhaps the best full season of his career in 2021. He made all 32 starts and posted a 3.75 ERA through 182 1/3 innings pitched, striking out 25.5% from opponents for a 4.6% walk rate. That showing earned him his first All-Star selection, as well as fourth place in the AL Cy Young balloting.
Unfortunately, injury issues resurfaced in 2022. Eovaldi missed parts of what proved to be his final season in Boston due to a pair of roster injuries. He lost time between June and July with a sore lower back and missed most of August and September with a sore shoulder. A pair of injuries kept him to 20 starts and 109 1/3 catches, although his production on average was around his career standards.
Eovaldi managed a 3.87 ERA, striking out a 22.4% percentage just above average from batters. He walked a small 4.3% percentage of opponents while racking up 47% of batters he surrendered. Eovaldi isn’t quite the ace Cy Young might suggest for a fourth in 2021, but he’s an above-average spinning arm when healthy.
This production doesn’t come out the way one might expect given Ivaldi’s arsenal of power. He is one of the toughest shooters in the game, averaging 97 MPH for most of his career. However, he has never posted the elite strike rates normally associated with this quickly. Eovaldi’s best attribute is his ability to bombard the strike area. Less than 5% of opponents have walked in each of the past three years. His cumulative walk percentage of 4.4% since the start of 2020 is the second lowest among 120 pitchers with more than 200 frames over that stretch (just lagging behind the 4.3% mark of Clayton Kershaw).
Eovaldi’s willingness to attack the region led to internal administration problems at times. He’s allowed above-average clipping homers in three of the past four years, including a career-high 1.73 homers per nine innings pitched last season. This is the only red flag in Ivaldi’s recent track record, but presumably his health and age have given some teams pause. He will turn 33 in February, making him one of the older options in a deep class of junior-mid-rotation available in free agency.
In addition to shoulder and back problems this year, he has a history of elbow problems. Eovaldi had Tommy John surgery in high school, then missed the 2017 campaign after undergoing the procedure a second time in August 2016. He hasn’t requested any IL periods due to elbow concerns since the aforementioned loose 2019 bodies. Last season’s back and shoulder injuries may have been more severe problems, as Ivaldi’s average fastball speed dropped from his usual 96-97 MPH range early in the season to nearly 94 MPH after his first stint at IL.
These injuries appear to be weakening Ivaldi’s market. Chris Bassett He secured a three-year, $63 million deal in his campaign for the 34-year-old, while players loved Jameson Tellon And the Taeguan Walker He earned solid four-year agreements despite Eovaldi’s less consistent performance records. Many free agent rookies this offseason got stronger-than-expected deals, but Eovaldi’s guarantee matches perfectly. MLBTR sign Since the beginning of the season.
Eovaldi’s camp was also working against the qualification bid. He turned down a Boston QO at the start of the winter, tying any signed team to draft compensation. This was also the case for Bassett, but he didn’t play Walker and Tylon.
Texans have not shown much concern about losing draft options to add quality talent via free agency. They surrendered two pickaxes to sign Corey Seeger And the Marcus Semin Last winter, and they will do it again in the off-season. The Rangers have already lost a draft pick to sign Jacob DeGrum for a five-year deal. This reduces the price they would have to pay in the case of Ivaldi. Texas gave up its second-largest draft option in 2023 and $500,000 in international signing bonus space to add deGrom. They will be awarded another $500,000 in signing bonus room and Third highest Choosing Eovaldi.
After Seger and Simen were scattered to bolster the lineup last season, the Rangers have comprehensively overhauled their starting squad this winter. Texas got Jake Odorezi It’s brave the first few days. the left Martin Perez Soon after he accepted a qualifying offer, but that didn’t slow down Texas general manager Chris Young or his front office. Since the opening of free agency, they’ve nabbed DeGrom to the offseason’s biggest promotion contract and brought him in Andrew Heaney and Eovaldi backed by two-year warranties.
Eovaldi adds another mid-spin caliber trigger to what now looks like the dreaded Rangers spin. deGrom titles for employees, powered by John GrayAnd Ivaldi, Perez and Heene. Odorizzi f Dan Dunning It looks like they will be pushed into deep innings, although there is enough injury uncertainty with most of the top five that it is understandable that Texas will not give up gas in pursuit of outside help.
Owner Ray Davis and the front office didn’t show much qualms about spending. Tapping Ivaldi’s $16 million salary into next year’s books brings their projected payroll around $196 million, for each resource in the list. This would be a franchise record, easily topping the organization’s previous high water opening day mark of $165 million. The average annual value of the deal of $17 million brings a competitive tax credit number of about $220 million per listing supplier, leaving them $13 million shy of next year’s base tax threshold of $233 million.
The rotational mega-lift appears to be complete, but the Texans have been known to look for ways to upgrade the outside corner. There’s room for a mid-level free agent pickup there if the team prefers to stay under the CBT tag, though it’s also possible Davis would be comfortable going over that limit. The franchise’s audacity this winter has backed up their claims that they plan to compete for a playoff spot in 2023, as both the Rangers and Angels worked to try and bridge the gap with the Astros and Mariners in the AL West.
It’s another free agent departure for the Red Sox, who’ve seen quite a few top players go elsewhere. euvaldi f Xander Bogaerts All of them left after declining a qualifying offer. Boston receives draft compensation for both of them, though this is a fairly small benefit in their case. The Red Sox narrowly crossed the CBT threshold in 2022, a decision that never paid off when the club faltered in last place. They only receive bonus picks after the fourth round in next year’s draft as a result.
FanSided’s Robert Murray I first mentioned that Rangers and Ivaldi were getting along. Evan Grant affiliate Dallas Morning News He was the first to mention that it was a two-year deal with an option, plus the exact financial meltdown. ESPN’s Jeff Bassin It was first with a $34 million guarantee and a third-year option to provide an entitlement/player, plus Option details.
Image courtesy of USA Today Sports.
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