Report: Former Yankees pitcher Nathan Eovaldi close to deal with Tampa Bay Rays
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported Sunday that a deal was in the works, noting that the Rays would have to clear a 40-man roster space for Eovaldi before they are able sign and put him on the 60-day disabled list, as he continues to work his way back from elbow surgery.
Per Topkin's report, Nathan will earn a $2 million base salary for the 2017, with a club option for the following year at the same annual cost, as well as incentives.
Eovaldi, who turns 27 years old Monday, February 13, spent the last two seasons with the Yankees before they released the right-hander back in November. He underwent his second career Tommy John surgery in August, after suffering a particularly severe elbow injury that required multiple surgeries to repair.
In 51 appearances (48 starts), Eovaldi posted a 4.45 ERA during his two seasons in pinstripes, with an average fastball velocity that sat in the mid- to upper-90's. Eovaldi struggled with keeping the ball in the yard, as he yielded 33 homers in the 279.0 innings of work he turned in for New York, but the 2015 season saw him post career highs in wins (14-3), K/9 (7.1) and win percentage (.824 -- the highest among all AL starters that season).
Prior to joining the Yankees, Eovaldi spent time with the Dodgers (2011-12) and Marlins (2012-14), where he struggled to earn decisions due to underwhelming run support, but earned a reputation as one of the liveliest and hardest-throwing arms in the Majors.
The Rays suffered a host of injuries to their starting rotation in 2016, and though Eovaldi won't return to the field for at least another year, Tampa is a team that fits the bill for a low-cost flyer on a high-upside pitcher like "Nasty Nate."
With pitchers and catchers reporting to spring camp this week, all eyes will be on the 30 MLB clubs working their way toward finalizing rosters for Opening Day 2017 on April 2.
In deal with #Rays likely to be finalized next 1-2 days Evoldi gets $2M salary in 2017, and if option picked up, $2M in 2018 plus incentives- Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) February 13, 2017