Can Nathan Eovaldi Recreate His Postseason Magic?
Nathan Eovaldi has been through a lot, with two Tommy John surgeries, and was bounced around quite a bit. Eovaldi figured things out, and was rewarded with a long term deal for his postseason and second half success. Eovaldi will be asked to be a backend rotation arm, and that is quite a luxury to have. There could also be a chance he closes out some games, given at the moment they are without a closer. It is truly a small sample size looking at Eovaldi’s success, but there was a lot to like about his high velocity fastball, cutter, and curveball. If his health can hold, Eovaldi might force the Red Sox to dump one of the starters ahead of him. With Eduardo Rodriguez seemingly missing time each year, adding another arm to the rotation is a big hit for Boston. If he can lock up quality innings, Eovaldi should be a steal.
How Can Boston Possibly Top Last Season?
Winning 108 games, and then rolling through the playoffs against your arch rivals, Houston, and Los Angeles is very tough to top. Winning 108 games is not what they want to duplicate, but starting with a division title again would be a great start. Winning back-to-back World Series is also incredibly tough to do. Getting back to the postseason, and making a deep run is what the goal should be. They will likely not win 108 games again, and with the team remaining the same, there is going to be plenty of hype, and also talk if they fall off a bit, or go through a rough patch, which they didn’t go through one last season. This team is loaded, and will be for a very long time. The expectations will be there each season, and Boston should live up to them once again.
Who Will Be The Closer In Boston?
With Craig Kimbrel asking for a long term deal with $100 million, Boston is likely going to skip that number. There is a chance they bring him back on a cheaper and more short term deal, which would be optimal, but this is also Kimbrel’s chance at a big pay day if someone wants to pay up that might. The market for him is limited, so that is likely not going to happen. If Kimbrel doesn’t return, this leaves the closer role wide open. Ryan Brasier showed some success at times, but Boston also hasn’t seen a huge glimpse of him. Tyler Thornburg and Carson Smith have been injured most of their time in Boston, and Joe Kelly is no longer on the team. Matt Barnes and Brasier would be the two on the current roster to battle it out and see who can provide some consistency. The Red Sox are watching proven bullpen arms go to other teams in the offseason, so they are likely going to look internally.