Eovaldi, Texas Ranger
Texas-sized spending continues
The Rangers continued their dramatic overhaul of the starting rotation this week, signing free agent Nathan Eovaldi to a two-year, $34 million contract with a $20 million insurance option through 2025. The 32-year-old veteran’s reliable workhorse was limited in just 20 starts last season for the Red Sox due to injuries, but still finished with a solid 3.87 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 103/20 K/BB in 109 1/3 innings. He missed five weeks with back inflammation in mid-June and was also sidelined for nearly six weeks in mid-August with right shoulder inflammation. The positive news is that he is expected to be fully healthy for spring training and will join a completely rebuilt Texas starting rotation headlined by free agent acquisitions Jacob deGrom and Andrew Heaney, along with returning veterans Martín Perez and Jon Gray. Clearly, the Rangers believe they are ready to compete now for an AL West division title.
It’s a fantastic landing spot for Eovaldi, health permitting, as he should benefit exponentially from a run prevention standpoint by trading the high-octane offensive environment of Fenway Park for the offensively stifling tendencies of Globe Life Field, which is rated as league average. ballpark (and well below average in terms of power over the fence) over the past three years. The presence of pitching wizard Jonah Heim behind the plate for the Rangers is another added bonus in his favor. It may be unrealistic to project more than 160 games this season, especially given his age and injury history, but fantasy managers should feel comfortable selecting Eovaldi as a top-60 fantasy starter and consistent stabilizer of last rotation in deeper mixed leagues. It’s always a risky proposition to rely on a starting pitcher coming off an injury-plagued campaign, but it’s hard to imagine a more ideal environment for Eovaldi to put together a recovery effort.
There’s a strong argument that Eovaldi was the last free agent left on the rookie market, which likely means teams looking to improve their starting rotations will redirect their gaze to a stagnant trade market. Modern front offices’ aversion to veteran prospect-type trades has been the driving force behind a dormant climate for challenger return trades, and the preponderance of rebuilding organizations matched by a handful of big-spending contenders that meet the needs of them through free agent spending. has led to just a few successful trades this offseason. That could change considering the slim pickings left out there in the free agent pool. Sooner 37-year-old Johnny Cueto, who came out of nowhere to deliver a solid campaign last year for the White Sox, is the most prominent name left among an uninspiring group that also includes Zack Greinke, Michael Wacha, Dylan. Bundy, Zach Davies, Wade Miley, Chad Kuhl, Chris Archer and Japanese righty Shintaro Fujinami. Given the dearth of quality options remaining, fantasy managers should expect the trade market to heat up once the calendar turns to January.
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Segura getting talent on south beach
The Marlins finally made their big move in free agency Wednesday night, acquiring some much-needed hitting power, agreeing to a two-year, $17 million contract with free agent shortstop Jean Segura, according to Héctor Gómez from Z101 Digital and Christian De. Nicola from MLB.com. The versatile outfielder, who turns 33 in March, hit .277/.336/.387 with 10 homers and 13 steals in 387 plate appearances in 98 games last season for the division rival Phillies. Philadelphia. He was also a key contributor during Philadelphia’s surprise postseason run in the Fall Classic. He will likely take over as Miami’s primary third baseman and will offer little appeal in deeper mixed leagues and NL-only formats. The halcyon days of 20-plus stolen bases are likely in the rearview mirror, but Segura has a chance to reach double-digit homers and stolen bases this season and also provide some help in the batting average department.
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MLB Quick Hits: Braves signed C Sean Murphy to a six-year, $73 million contract extension with a $15 million club option for 2029… $17 million contract … Dodgers signed OF/DH JD Martinez to a one-year, $10 million contract… Mets re-signed RHP Adam Ottavinon to a one-year, $7.25 million contract with a $7.25 million player option for 2024 … Cubs signed C Tucker Barnhart to a two-year, $6.5 million contract … Pirates signed LHP Jarlín García a one-year, $2.5 million contract with a $3.25 million club option for 2024 … Braves re-signed RHP Jackson Stephens to a one-year, $740,000 split contract … Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Pirates and free agent arm lefty Rich Hill is in agreement on a one-year, $8 million contract… MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Red Sox and free agent righty Corey Kluber have agreed to a one-year, $10 million contract with an $11 million club option for 2024 … Hyun Jin Ryu (elbow) told reporters he is targeting a July return from Tommy John surgery … Royce Lewis (knee ) is not expected back for the Twins until late June or early July … The Braves acquired LHP Lucas Luetge from the Yankees for INF Caleb Durbin and RHP Indigo Diaz and also acquired Eli White from the Rangers for cash … The Yankees signed RHP Tyler Danish in a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training … Blue Jays signed RHP Julian Fernández to a minor league contract … Reds signed C Austin Romine and RHP Alan Busenitz to minor league contracts with invitations to spring training … Braves designated 1B Lewin Díaz for assignment … Pirates designated RHP Bryse Wilson for assignment … Giants designated INF Tommy La Stella for assignment … Dodgers designated RHP Reed for assignment … Royals designated 1B Ryan O’Hearn for assignment .. .Mets designated RHP William Woods for assignment … Rangers designated RHP Nick Mears for assignment … Cubs designated C PJ Higgins for assignment … Gregory Polanco signed with the Chiba Lotte Mariners of Nippon Professional Baseball of Japan … Marwin Gonzalez signed with the Orix Buffaloes of Japan’s Nippon Baseball.