Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The New York Yankees Won’t Get Nathan Eovaldi… Or Could They?

Yankees Twitter, their respective Facebook groups, and other outlets of news and media went crazy over the weekend when it was reported that the New York Yankees had a scout in attendance when the Tampa Bay Rays, and namely right-handed starter Nathan Eovaldi, faced off with the New York Mets inside Citi Field. Without any real knowledge or reports of why the scout was there, the Yankees could have been scouting the Mets for all we know, the hypothetical starting pitching rotations including a healthy Masahiro Tanaka, the ace Luis Severino, and Nathan Eovaldi began popping up everywhere while forgetting the most important factor of them all, the Rays. Why would the Rays trade Eovaldi, or anybody, to the New York Yankees? They wouldn’t… or would they? 

Before we get too far into this let’s look at the most important bit of information surrounding a potential trade, would the Yankees benefit from acquiring Eovaldi? In a word, yes. Eovaldi, who is no stranger to pitching in New York, has been stellar overall since his return off the disabled list after a second Tommy John surgery and even took a perfect game into the seventh inning against the Mets on Sunday. Eovaldi now has eight starts under his belt since returning from the DL including two no-hitter or perfect game attempts, the other coming in his first start since the injury.  

Why would the Yankees want him? If the right-hander is pitching the way he has he would be an immediate and tremendous upgrade in their starting rotation for the remainder of the season. His contract is team friendly and it expires at the end of the 2018 season making him a rental in terms of dollars and the prospects needed to acquire him, both of which are important to New York. The Rays will likely be looking to trade him to a contender this summer, but why would they trade him to New York? Well, there could be a couple of reasons.  

First and foremost, the Rays are not going to compete here in 2018, the year that Eovaldi’s contract expires, so trading Eovaldi to the Yankees for a couple of months is much different than trading New York a player like Blake Snell who Tampa Bay would have to watch dominate them for years to come. Secondly, the Yankees and Rays are no strangers to trades, although it is usually a three-team trade that brings the two teams together. It is not out of the realm of possibilities that the Yankees could work out another three-team trade, use your imagination on the third team because I have no idea, to bring Eovaldi to the Bronx for prospects.  

It is far more likely that Eovaldi comes to the Bronx than a Chris Archer or a Blake Snell, three-team trade or not, so keep things realistic when thinking about your potential starting rotation in a seven-game playoff series in the Bronx. Severino, Tanaka, Eovaldi and Sabathia sounds a whole lot better to me than a rotation with either Sonny Gray or the inconsistent rookie Domingo German. I’m just saying.

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