Six days before the non-waiver trade deadline, the Tampa Bay Rays have traded RHP Nathan Eovaldi to the Boston Red Sox for southpaw Jalen Beeks.
Eovaldi was slated to start this afternoon’s contest against the New York Yankees, but instead the Rays will start Ryne Stanek. Austin Pruitt has been recalled from Triple-A Durham to take Eovaldi’s place on the active roster for the time being.
Eovaldi has been hit-or-miss for Tampa Bay this season, delivering a couple of lengthy no-hit bids, but also four starts where he allowed four earned runs or more. This season Eovaldi has performed to a 4.26 ERA/4.28 FIP over 10 starts (57 innings of work). It is believed that Eovaldi’s recent track record and injury history likely limited the return the the Rays achieved.
Eovaldi, who will be a free-agent at the end of the 2018 season, was acquired in 2016 as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. He was slated to be a part of the Rays’ Opening Day rotation, yet loose bodies were found in his elbow, requiring arthroscopic surgery, which sidelined the hurler until mid-May.
In return for Eovaldi, the Rays acquired 24 year-old LHP Jalen Beeks, who has two games of big league experience with the Red Sox this season. Beeks was a 12th round selection in the 2014 draft, and spent the bulk of the past two seasons in Triple-A Pawtucket. Most recently he has shown an uptick in strikeouts, while his walk rate is the lowest of his professional career.
While the decision to trade with an AL East foe might be questionable, that Tampa Bay will face Boston just six more times (two series) likely factored into the decision to deal the free-agent to be to the Red Sox.