Cubs reportedly showing interest in Yankees RHP Nathan Eovaldi
Jed Hoyer recently said the front office is always looking for pitching and exploring ways to improve the staff. The Cubs may have the best record in baseball but the team cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to pitching. At the very least, seeing Jason Hammel leave Monday’s game with an injury reminded the front office a team cannot ever have enough pitching.
Hammel is not expected to miss his next start. But those that follow the Cubs know that Hammel was not the same last season after leaving a game in early July with a hamstring/calf/knee injury.
The Cubs talked to several teams last season leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline to acquire pitching. There were conversations with the Yankees, according to multiple reports, about RHP Adam Warren and RHP Nathan Eovaldi. So it was not a big surprise when the Cubs acquired Warren for Starlin Castro in December.
The Cubs have been linked to RHP Nathan Eovaldi off and on since Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer took over baseball operations. The Cubs were believed to like Eovaldi in talks with the Dodgers for Ryan Dempster. The Dodgers sent Eovaldi to the Marlins instead in the package for Hanley Ramirez. The Marlins moved a struggling Eovaldi to the Yankees in December 2014 along with Domingo German and Garrett Jones for David Phelps and Martin Prado.
According to 670 The Score’s Julie DiCaro “one of the pitchers the Cubs are focusing on for a possible deal” is Nathan Eovaldi. Nothing is imminent and talks are “in very early stages.”
Nathan Eovaldi is having a solid season for a Yankees team that finished play on Memorial Day two games under .500 (24-26) and 6 ½ games back of the Red Sox, fourth place in the AL East.
The 26-year old right-hander is 6-2 with a 3.71 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 3.52 FIP. In 10 starts (60 2/3 innings), Eovaldi has allowed 25 runs, all earned, on 56 hits with 15 walks and 57 strikeouts. Over a season and two months working with Larry Rothschild, Eovaldi has shown steady improvement and command of his triple-digit fastball. Eovaldi is 20-5 in 37 starts for the Yankees with a 4.06 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and 3.45 FIP.
Eovaldi has one more full-season before he becomes a free agent. Eovaldi is under team control through the 2017 season.
Seeing the Cubs connected to Nathan Eovaldi again does not come as a surprise. The Yankees could look to maximize his value but it would really be hard to see Brian Cashman trade a starting pitcher and further weaken the organization.