No free agent made himself more money this postseason than right-hander Nathan Eovaldi.
The 28-year-old had a respectable regular season, going 6-7 with a 3.81 ERA and 1.13 WHIP between the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox. His career numbers also are just decent: 44-53, 4.16 ERA, 1.35 WHIP.
But in 22 1/3 innings this postseason, Eovaldi allowed just four earned runs for an ERA of 1.61, helping the Red Sox win a World Series title.
Eovaldi's playoff heroics turned him into one of the hottest commodities of the offseason. He earned just $2 million in each of the last two seasons, but he's now projected to land a multiyear contract at around $15 million per season.
The A's obviously need starting pitching help -- executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane already has said as much. But spending big bucks on a sexy free agent target isn't exactly their MO.
Eovaldi would have been a shrewd signing for around $8 million per year, but $15 million is a pretty steep price to pay off one great month. Before this season, Eovaldi hadn't recorded an ERA under 4 since 2013. His high WHIP and low swing-and-miss rate also are concerns.
For the type of money Eovaldi is expected to get, the A's would be better off pursuing top-end starters such as Patrick Corbin and Dallas Keuchel, both of whom are expected to earn around $20 million per year. And really, what's an extra $5 million at that point?
Otherwise, Oakland probably should use that $15 million to sign multiple pitchers, including their own free agents.
Editor's note: This week across the NBC Sports Regional Networks, we'll be taking an in-depth look at some of the top free agents in baseball. Thursday is dedicated to free agent pitcher Nathan Eovaldi.
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