June 20, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Nate Eovaldi (50) pitches the ball against the Oakland Athletics during the sixth inning at O.co Coliseum. The Oakland Athletics defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE
Miami Marlins Trade Hanley Ramirez to Los Angeles Dodgers for Nate Eovaldi and Prospect
Entering full fire sale mode, the Miami Marlins traded infielder Hanley Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers, receiving in return rookie starting pitcher Nate Eovaldi and minor league right-handed reliever Scott McGough. Here's a look at the two new Florida arms.
Nate Eovaldi, RHP: Eovaldi is a 6-2, 215 pound right-hander, born February 13th, 1990 in Houston, Texas. He was considered a top high school prospect until having Tommy John surgery in his junior year. Most teams thought he would go to school at Texas A&M, but the Dodgers felt otherwise, drafted him in the 11th round in 2008, and gave him $250,000 to sign.
He was erratic in the lower minors but showed a live arm, and had a breakthrough season in 2011, posting a 2.62 ERA with a 99/46 K/BB in 103 innings for Double-A Chattanooga, then holding his own with a 3.63 ERA in six major league starts and four relief appearances. He split 2012 again between Double-A (3.09 ERA, 30/13 K/BB in 35 innings) and the Dodgers, making 10 major league starts with a 34/20 K/BB and a 4.15 ERA in 56 innings.
Overall, in 91 major league innings he's been an average performer, with a 3.96 ERA and a 57/40 K/BB with 91 hits allowed. That's not great, but he's only 22 years old and skipped Triple-A.
Eovaldi has been clocked as high as 99 MPH and usually works in the 91-94 range. His best secondary pitch is a strong slider. He also has a curveball and changeup, but they aren't as good as the slider. Some scouts believe that with two overpowering pitches, he'll fit better as a reliever, but others think that the curve and change are improvable and that he'll make a fine major league starter with more experience. Personally, I think he has a chance to be a solid workhorse starting arm, and I would leave him in the rotation. Given his lack of Triple-A time, he's held his own.
Scott McGough, RHP: The Dodgers drafted McGough from the University of Oregon in 2011, a fifth round selection. He was a middle reliever and occasional closer in college, and he's held the same role in pro ball, posting a 3.99 ERA with a 48/26 K/BB in 47 innings this year for Rancho Cucamonga in the California League, recording five saves. A fastball/slider type, he works at 90-95 MPH and keeps the ball down, collecting grounders and avoiding home runs. His control is inconsistent and he's been hit hard of late, posting a 10.32 ERA with a 14/14 K/BB in his last 11 innings.
McGough projects as a middle reliever at the major league level.
Ramirez hasn't been a great player for a couple of years, but I doubt he's washed up at age 28 and getting out of Miami may revive his career. I like Eovaldi, but McGough is a fungible talent and I can't help but think that the Marlins could have gotten more for Hanley. Apparently, they were clearly going to move him for the first remotely adequate offer.