Nathan Eovaldi was traded to the Boston Red Sox from the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday in exchange for minor league left-handed pitcher Jalen Beeks.
The right-hander went 3-4 with a 4.26 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP in 10 starts for the Rays in 2018, striking out 53 batters and walking eight. He will be a free agent after the season.
Eovaldi will make his Red Sox debut Sunday against the visiting Minnesota Twins.
“I assumed there was a possibility (of a trade), of course, especially where I am in my career and the way my contract was for this year,” Eovaldi told reporters before departing Tampa Bay. “I was assuming that I would be traded, but as for what team it would be, I wasn’t thinking about that at all.”
Only Indians right-hander Corey Kluber (7.44) and Astros righty Justin Verlander (7.04) have a better strikeout-to-walk ratio among pitchers with 50-plus innings this season.
Eovaldi has been masterful in recent starts. He carried a no-hitter into at least the sixth inning in three outings, most recently on July 8 when he retired his first 18 batters faced against the New York Mets at Citi Field.
“He’s a guy that fit for us. We thought it was appropriate to move quickly rather than to wait for uncertainties,” Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said. “We figured let’s go ahead and try to get the deal done.”
Eovaldi had Tommy John surgery for the second time in 2016 and missed all of last season. He also had the surgery as a high school junior in 2007.
With starters Eduardo Rodriguez (ankle) and Steven Wright (knee) on the disabled list for Boston, Eovaldi might be used in a bullpen role once everyone is healthy.
“We’ll see where we are at,” manager Alex Cora said. “We are a long ways, but, if necessary, I think he can do that. But he’s been a good starter. ... We’ll keep him there for now.”
Eovaldi is 41-50 with a 4.22 ERA in 144 major league appearances (137 starts) for the Los Aneles Dodgers (2011-12), Miami Marlins (2012-14), New York Yankees (2015-16) and Rays (2018).
Beeks, 25, made two appearances (one start) the Red Sox this season and allowed a total of nine runs on 11 hits in 6 1/3 innings.
He was 5-5 with a 2.89 ERA, 117 strikeouts and a .215 opponents’ batting average in 16 starts for Triple-A Pawtucket this season.
—Field Level Media