The Texas Rangers have bolstered the rotation behind ace Jacob deGrom by agreeing to terms with veteran right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, CBS Sports' Jim Bowden confirms. According to ESPN, the deal, which is pending a physical, will guarantee Eovaldi $34 million over two years with a vesting player option for 2025 and incentives.
Eovaldi, who turns 33 in February, has spent the last four and a half seasons with the Red Sox. For his career, he has owned an ERA+ of 101 and a K/BB ratio of 2.98 across parts of 11 major-league seasons. Over that span, he's worked primarily as a starter, as just 19 of his 240 career games pitched have come as a reliever.
Coming into the 2022-23 offseason, we ranked Eovaldi as the No. 31 available free agent and the No. 10 available starting pitcher free agent. Here's what our R.J. Anderson wrote about Eovaldi coming into the winter:
"Eovaldi has been on a years-long quest to answer one question: how often does a starter have to throw his fastball, anyway? He opted for the old No. 1 less than 40 percent of the time last season, rolling instead with a healthy heaping of cutters, breaking balls, and splitters. That looks like a wise decision. Despite Eovaldi's mid-to-upper 90s velocity, his fastball was hammered to the tune of a .306 batting average, a .522 slugging percentage, and a 92.3 mph average exit velocity. Only a handful of pitchers with at least 20 starts in 2022 allowed a higher percentage of batted balls with exit velocities of at least 95 mph. That statistic doesn't necessarily spell doom; Tyler Glasnow and Framber Valdez allow a lot of hard contact, they just atone for it by either missing an extreme amount of bats or generating a ton of grounders. Eovaldi doesn't do either, which leaves him in a more vulnerable position. Hence his ranking lower than his recent ERA and strikeout-to-walk ratios merit."
Earlier this offseason, the Rangers inked deGrom to a five-year pact and lefty Andrew Heaney to a two-year deal. Eovaldi will join a Texas rotation that also includes Jon Gray and Martín Pérez and has Jake Odorizzi likely in the swingman role. These investments come one year after the Rangers spent heavily on free agents Corey Seager and Marcus Semien.