We have used this idea for the last couple of years. The idea is to go through some of the top free agents, using the contract FanGraphs suggests and have a poll to see if we would sign him for that amount.
Nathan Eovaldi is number 15 on FanGraphs’ list and #30 on Keith Law’s list.
Eovaldi turns 33 in February. Over the last three seasons, he’s been very consistent. Over that time, he’s made 61 starts with a 3.79 ERA, gets more than a strikeout an inning and doesn’t walk guys.
He had a 4.5 bWAR in 2021. If you get that type of season from Nathan, he’s worth a lot of money. But he’s been decent in other seasons. So you could get a very good pitcher, or you could get an ‘innings eater’. There is value in an innings eater, but
In some ways, Eovaldi is just like Bassitt. They’re nearly equal in WAR over the last three years. Both possess sterling command and sneaky strikeout stuff. Eovaldi throws harder, but Bassitt has a wider array of good secondaries. Eovaldi is almost exactly a year younger than Bassitt, but has more injury mileage on his arm. It won’t surprise you, then, to hear that I think they’ll get similar contracts.
Eovaldi was a 4.5/5.7 WAR pitcher in 2021, but back and shoulder injuries limited him to about 60 percent of the workload in 2022 and shaved a mile an hour off his fastball while costing him some command too. At his best, he can sit 96-97 with a curve and splitter that might both be plus, and he’s stingy with the walks. His walk rate of 4.3 percent would have been the fourth-lowest in baseball, just a shade better than Justin Verlander’s, had he qualified. If healthy, Eovaldi is at least a No. 2 starter for someone, and if he’d been a free agent last winter he would probably have seen $100 million-plus deals over five years. This winter, he might be looking for a one-year make-good deal.
Ben figures him to get a three-year contract at $17 million per year, for a total of $51 million. I’d be more interested in that one-year deal that Keith Law suggests, but I’m sticking to the rules that we’ve been using.
Should the Jays sign Nathan Eovaldi if the price is $17 million for three years?
This poll is closed
Probably, but I’m not enthusiastic about it
Probably no, but I wouldn’t hate it
No, absolutely not