Red Sox

Nathan Eovaldi sets high bar for Red Sox' rotation as trade rumors swirl

Red Sox

There's a whole lot of uncertainty surrounding the 2020 Boston Red Sox.

But that isn't stopping Nathan Eovaldi from laying down some expectations.

In an interview from Fort Myers with WBZ's Jonny Miller, the Red Sox right-hander effectively challenged himself and the rest of the starting rotation to return to form after an underwhelming 2019 season.

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"We’ve kind of all got that chip on our shoulder where we want to go out there and be healthy the entire season,” Eovaldi told Miller, via MassLive.com's Christopher Smith. " ... We’ve got a lot of things to prove. We all know how talented we are and how talented we can be."

Eovaldi, Chris Sale and David Price each made 25 starts or fewer last season, as all three pitchers spent significant time on the injured list.

Price has been mentioned as a possible trade chip in a Mookie Betts megadeal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but if he's in a Red Sox uniform this season, Eovaldi believes Boston can recapture the magic it found in 2018 during its 108-win season.

"As long as they stay healthy, we’re going to be able to compete with everybody," Eovaldi said. " ... I think with myself, Price and Sale healthy, ready to go now, you saw how successful we were in ’18 when the starting rotation stayed healthy. And I think that’s the key."

 

Eovaldi, Price and Sale all had sub-four ERAs for Boston in 2018 and played key roles in the club's World Series title.

The health of three players north of 29 is no guarantee, though: Sale missed the final 39 games of the 2019 season due to elbow inflammation, Eovaldi has undergone two elbow surgeries since 2017 and Price dealt with a left wrist cyst late in the 2019 season.

That health risk may be why the Red Sox want to acquire prospects and/or young players in return for Betts. But Eovaldi apparently is confident in the group Boston has -- Eduardo Rodriguez and newcomer Martin Perez round out the current rotation -- and is intent on proving it.