Thursday, July 26, 2018

Did the Yankees Miss an Opportunity w/ Nathan Eovaldi?

The Boston Red Sox have done thus far this trade season what the New York Yankees could not, they acquired a starting pitcher. In a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays the Boston Red Sox acquired RHP and former Yankees starter Nathan Eovaldi for prospect Jalen Beeks, did the Yankees miss an opportunity to acquire the flame throwing right-hander?

I think every Yankees fan already knows what to expect out of Eovaldi, even after his second Tommy John surgery. Eovaldi has shown he can still reach back and touch 97MPH or faster with his fastball but has also shown a tendency to give up runs which is evident by his 4.26 ERA at the time of the trade. Eovaldi is sporting a 20.1 K/BB ratio, the best of his career, and has generated more swings and misses, 11.0%, than he ever has (a huge issue for him during his tenure as a Yankee), and in my opinion would have been a great upgrade over Luis Cessa, Domingo German, Jonathan Loaisiga and whomever the team decides to throw out there not named Justus Sheffield between now and October.

Beeks is a left-handed arm that has seen the MLB level here in 2018, although both appearances left much to be desired. Over 16 starts at Triple-A this season Beeks has pitched to a 2.89 ERA with a 12.1 K/9 ratio and a 2.6 BB/9 ratio over 87.1 innings at the time of the trade. Beeks was the Red Sox’ sixth-best prospect in their system, a thin system at that, due to his four-pitch mix. Beeks is projected to be a 4th or 5th starter at the Major League level by many scouts which makes you wonder if the Rays see something that the rest of the league doesn’t see in Beeks, or if New York couldn’t have matched or exceeded the cost to acquire Eovaldi.

Would the Rays have taken Chance Adams plus a lower-level minor league player to sweeten the pot for Eovaldi? Not likely, Adams has not had the type of season down in Triple-A that Beeks has had, but I truly believe the Rays would have been intrigued by one of Luis Medina, Freicer Perez, Matt Sauer, Domingo Acevedo, Clarke Schmidt or Trevor Stephan… and honestly, I would have traded any of them for Eovaldi, although I would prefer to hold onto Medina and Perez if at all possible.

Eovaldi would have been perfect for the Yankees given that the righty is a pure rental that is making just $2 million this season, plus incentives. Unless the Yankees and their GM Brian Cashman have something else in the works or up their sleeves to spend their remaining (estimated) $11.5 million they have to spend while still staying under the luxury tax threshold I think they absolutely missed out on a huge chance here.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)