2. Nathan Eovaldi
On Yankees fans’ “Most Hated Pitchers” list, Nathan Eovaldi is a dark horse top-five candidate. A former Yankee who couldn’t be harnessed in the Bronx, the right-hander needed Tommy John surgery in 2016, missed all of 2017, joined the Rays in 2018, and was then traded to the Red Sox in the middle of that year.
Ever since joining Boston? He’s 22-17 with a 4.06 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 3.79 FIP and 424 strikeouts in 86 games (409.2 innings). He helped the Sox to a World Series in 2018 (which earned him his contract extension) and has historically held the Yankees in check to the tune of a 3.76 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 72 strikeouts across 16 games (76.2 innings), which doesn’t include his two dominant postseason performances against New York in 2018 and 2021.
Now, in the final year of his contract and earning $17 million, Eovaldi is the definition of a premier trade deadline asset. Teams across the league, especially contenders, are starved for pitching and will pay a prohibitive price to improve their contender status. Bloom is smarter than to pass on Eovaldi’s potential demand and let him walk for free in the offseason.
If Boston remains out of contention, don’t be surprised if you hear Eovaldi’s name swirling in trade rumors despite the fact he leads the league in home runs allowed (16) and has an unsightly 5.23 FIP. Someone will take a chance on him because his offerings are too electric to pass up, especially with productive starting pitching so hard to come by.