There had already been three significant trades since the MLB All Star Game but, on Wednesday, the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays added their name to the list of teams making moves prior to the trade deadline.
Red Sox Get:
RHP Nathan Eovaldi
LHP Jalen Beeks
More from @MinorLeagueBall on Jalen Beeks traded from #RedSox to #Rays... pic.twitter.com/9H47l7JVk0— Kris Dunn (@KRSDunn) July 25, 2018
What does it mean?
The Red Sox are currently operating with a rotation that consists of four left-handers, so clearly there was a need for right-handed help in the starting rotation. Eovaldi, who joins his third AL East team in the last three years, has looked good for the Rays since returning from Tommy John surgery at the end of May.
In his first start off the DL, the 28-year-old tossed six no-hit innings against the Oakland Athletics. After a rocky start to June (2 starts; 10 IP, 7 ER, 7 K), Eovaldi has since gone at least six innings in six of his last seven starts, posting 42 strikeouts to just six walks over 41 innings.
Eovaldi should provide an upgrade over the likes of Brian Johnson, Hector Velazquez, and Steven Wright — especially since Wright is currently on the 10-day DL. Add LHP Eduardo Rodriguez’s name to the list of injured pitchers — Boston seems to have done a very nice job upgrading the back-end of their rotation.
For Tampa Bay, the 25-year-old Beeks joins a long list of young pitchers hoping to propel the Rays back into the playoffs — just not in 2018.
Earlier today, Wayne Cavadi provided some insight into Beeks’ prospect status.
Listed as our No. 7 prospect in the Red Sox organization, entering the season, Beeks made his big-league debut on June 7. He allowed six earned runs over four innings against the Detroit Tigers, striking out four while walking three. After struggling in his second start, on his 25th birthday, the Red Sox sent him back to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Earlier today, Rays GM Erik Neander referenced Beeks’ MLB appearances.
“Obviously, those didn’t go very well, and those aren’t our expectations moving forward,” he told reporters while speaking about Beeks’ role with the team. “With a guy like that, I think it’s essential to give him an opportunity to get feedback at the Major League level.”
It’s unclear exactly how he will fit in with the Rays, especially given the unorthodox use of the pitchers in Tampa Bay, however, a left-hander with a four-pitch mix (FB, CH, CV, CU) could help in the starting rotation and reduce the workload currently being put on guys like Ryne Stanek, Sergio Romo, and Jose Alvarado.