The hot stove season is starting to heat up with players looking for new teams and contenders like the Astros are looking to get better.
With several players hitting free agency for the Astros, Jeff Luhnow and company are busier than normal. After falling short of the World Series last year, their window for winning just needs some tweaking. One of the positions that need some upgrades are in the starting rotation. Look for a trade to fill this, but a free agent would work as well.
Expect to hear the Astros’ name mentioned with most of the targets out there. One name that has been mentioned a little was part of the reasons why the Astros lost in the ALCS. That is a local product, Nathan Eovaldi, who grew up in the Alvin area. We saw him pitch well versus the Astros as he got the win in Game 3, pitching six innings and allowing two runs. Via Baseball-Reference, he had a 1.61 ERA going back between the bullpen and rotation. He added 16 strikeouts in 22 ⅓ innings.
He is a flamethrower who has been labeled the second best pitcher ever from Alvin. According to Google, it is 30 miles from Alvin to Minute Maid Park. If his family wants to come to watch him pitch, it’s a short drive versus a flight to Boston. He already got his World Series ring, and it will be poetic if he pitches the Astros into the World Series in 2019.
According to Jon Morosi, the Astros are “showing continued interest in free agent Nathan Eovaldi, sources say.” He also added that teams are looking at him as a starter or closer. The Astros are one of nine teams linked up to Eovaldi, so they will have to make a competitive offer. Playing for your hometown team predicted to go to the World Series again in 2019 is enticing. However, he also wants to get the best deal.
Eovaldi is a player that could fill in for Lance McCullers for 2019 and be insurance should they not retain Gerrit Cole or Justin Verlander. To get a player like Eovaldi, it may take a three-year deal with an option for a fourth year. Maybe between $15-18 million per year, so it would take a financial risk with his injury history. He has already had two Tommy John surgery.
Bring him on and re-sign Charlie Morton, this will make up for the loss of Dallas Keuchel. This move would make a rotation almost as imposing as last year.