January 28, 2023

Raven Tribune

Complete News World

Rangers will sign Nathan Ivaldi

6:37 PM: Eovaldi will be paid $16 million in salary each of the next two seasons, Grant reports (on Twitter). The deal contains a $2 million buyout of the 2025 option.

6:09 pm: The deal guarantees $34 million, according to ESPN’s Jeff Bassin (Twitter link). He can grant a player option for a third year.

6:08 pm: It’s a two-year warranty with an option for a third season, reports Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News (on Twitter).

5:50 pm: The Rangers are in agreement with the rookie free agent Nathan IvaldiFanSided’s Robert Murray reports (Twitter link). The transaction is pending physical.

Ivaldi has spent the past four seasons with the Red Sox. Boston first acquired a righty from the Rays at the 2018 trade deadline, adding the impending free agent to a playoff push. Eovaldi was excellent in 12 regular season appearances, then added 22 1/3 innings of 1.61 balls in the post-season. At the end of the year, Boston rewarded him for his impressive finish with a four-year, $68 million free agent deal.

That decade looked shaky in the first year, as Eovaldi posted an ERA south of 6.00 in 2019 — a season in which he missed a good chunk of the action due to loose objects in his elbow. He righted the ship in the deal’s second season, despite posting a 3.72 ERA through nine innings during the shortened 2020 campaign.

Eovaldi pursued perhaps the best complete campaign of his career in 2021. He made all 32 starts and posted a 3.75 ERA through 182 1/3 innings pitched, defeating 25.5% of opponents for a 4.6% walk average. That show earned him his first All-Star selection, as well as a fourth-place finish in the AL Si Young Vote for awards.

Unfortunately, injury issues resurfaced again in 2022. Eovaldi missed parts of what proved to be his final season in Boston due to being twice on the injured list. He lost time between June and July with a sore lower back and missed most of August and September with a sore shoulder. The pair of injuries kept him to 20 starts and 109 1/3 catches, although his production on an average basis was about what we expected.

See also  Lightning's Game 3 win comes at a cost, leaving Nikita Kucherov in third place

Eovaldi managed a 3.87 ERA, striking out at 22.4% just above average of opposing hitters. He walked a small 4.3% percentage of opponents while racking up 47% of batters he surrendered. Eovaldi isn’t quite the ace Cy Young might suggest for a fourth in 2021, but he’s an above-average spinning arm when healthy.

This production doesn’t come out the way one might expect given Ivaldi’s arsenal of power. He is one of the toughest shooters in the game, averaging 97 MPH for most of his career. However, he had never posted the elite strike rates one might imagine given that speed. Eovaldi’s best attribute is his ability to bombard the strike area. Less than 5% of opponents have walked in each of the past three years. His cumulative 4.4% walk percentage since the start of 2020 is the second-lowest among 120 pitchers with more than 200 frames over that stretch (just lagging behind the 4.3% mark of Clayton Kershaw).

Eovaldi’s willingness to attack the region led to internal administration problems at times. He’s allowed above-average clipping homers in three of the past four years, including a career-high 1.73 homers per nine innings pitched last season. This is the only red flag in Eovaldi’s recent performance record, but his health record and age presumably have given some teams pause. He will turn 33 in February, making him one of the older options in a deep class of junior-mid-rotation available in free agency.

In addition to shoulder and back problems this year, he has a history of elbow concerns. Eovaldi had Tommy John surgery in high school, then missed the 2017 campaign after undergoing the procedure a second time in August 2016. He hasn’t requested any IL periods due to elbow concerns since the aforementioned 2019 loose body concerns. Last season’s back and shoulder injuries may have been a more acute concern, as Ivaldi’s average fastball speed dropped from his usual early-season 96-97 mph range to about 94 mph after his first stint at IL.

See also  Albert Breer: Mac Jones' relationship with the Patriots 'go awry a bit'

These injuries seem to be weakening Ivaldi’s market. Chris Bassett He secured a three-year, $63 million deal in his campaign for the 34-year-old, while players loved Jameson Tellon And the Taeguan Walker He earned solid four-year agreements despite Eovaldi’s less consistent performance records. Many of the free agent rookies available this season landed stronger-than-expected deals, but Eovaldi’s guarantee matches perfectly. MLBTR sign Since the beginning of the season.

Eovaldi’s camp was also working against the qualification bid. He turned down a Boston QO at the start of the winter, tying any signed team to draft compensation. This was also the case for Bassett, but he did not play bowlers like Walker and Tylon.

Texans have not shown much concern about losing draft options to add quality talent via free agency. They surrendered two pickaxes to sign Corey Seeger And the Marcus Semin Last winter, and they will do it again in the off-season. The Rangers have already lost a draft pick to sign Jacob DeGrum to a five-year deal earlier this off-season. This reduces the price they would have to pay in the case of Ivaldi. Texas has already lost its second-biggest pick in 2023 and $500,000 in international signing bonus space to add deGrom. Another $500,000 bonus signing room and third-highest pick next year will be anchored for Eovaldi.

After Seeger and Simen were scattered to bolster the lineup last season, the Rangers have comprehensively overhauled their starting staff this winter. Texas got Jake Odorezy It’s brave the first few days of winter. the left Martin Perez Soon after he accepted a qualifying offer, but that didn’t slow down Texas general manager Chris Young or his front office. Since the opening of free agency, they’ve nabbed DeGrom to the offseason’s biggest promotion contract and brought him in Andrew Heaney and Eovaldi backed by two-year warranties.

See also  USA vs Wales, England vs Iran and Netherlands vs Senegal

Eovaldi adds another mid-spin caliber trigger to what now looks like the dreaded Rangers spin. deGrom titles for employees, powered by John GrayAnd Ivaldi, Perez and Heene. Odorizzi f Dan Dunning It looks like they will be pushed into deep innings, although there is enough injury uncertainty with most of the top five that it is understandable that Texas will not give up gas in pursuit of outside help.

Owner Ray Davis and the front office haven’t shown much concern about spending over the past couple off seasons. Tapping Ivaldi’s $16 million salary into next year’s books brings their projected payroll around $196 million, for each resource in the list. This would be a franchise record, easily topping the organization’s previous high water opening day mark of $165 million. The average annual value of the deal of $17 million brings a competitive tax credit number of about $220 million per listing supplier, leaving them $13 million shy of next year’s base tax threshold of $233 million.

The rotational mega-lift appears to be complete, but the Texans have been known to look for ways to upgrade the outside corner. There’s room for a mid-level free agent pickup there if the team prefers to stay under the CBT tag, though it’s also possible Davis would be comfortable going over that limit. The franchise’s audacity this winter has backed up their claims that they plan to compete for a playoff spot in 2023, as both the Rangers and Angels worked to try and bridge the gap with the Astros and Mariners in the AL West.

More is coming.