CARLSBAD, Calif. — On the heels of a World Series title, the first priority for the Red Sox this off-season is to attempt to re-sign at least some of their seven free agents. According to president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, the interest in reuniting with those players is mutual.
Dombrowski said Tuesday that all of the Sox free agents (Nathan Eovaldi, Craig Kimbrel, Joe Kelly, Steve Pearce, Ian Kinsler and Drew Pomeranz) have told the team they have interest in returning.
“We have an abundance of free agents,” Dombrowski said. “We have seven, so theyre in different categories. Some of the guys that wed like to re-sign, they know that. But theyre also free agents. Well continue staying in contact with them and see what happens. They know were interested, but they also want to find out what the market is. All of them have expressed a desire to come back, but only time will tell.”
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Dombrowski has told “most, but not all” of Bostons free agents that they are a priority for the team. In turn, he believes most of the seven will give the Red Sox a chance to match any offer before departing.
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“I think they all will stay in contact with us,” he said. “I think most of them will do that, but if somebody says heres an offer that blows you away and you sign it right now or not, theyll probably sign it.”
Kimbrel and Eovaldi stick out as the top guys the Sox would want to bring back, with Pearce also fitting well into the projected 2019 roster. Kelly and Kinsler are considered less likely.
Boston issued a qualifying offer to Kimbrel, meaning he has the option to return on a one-year, $17.9 million deal instead of testing free agency. Dombrowski expects him to reject that offer, at which point Bostons off-season plan will be “somewhat determined by the pursuit of its closer.
“He may be calling around seeing what else is out there,” Dombrowski said. “You dont want to be caught by surprise when youre out there pursuing something real strong.”
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has a quick and easy way to change the balance of power with the Red Sox in the American League East: sign free-agent right-hander Nathan Eovaldi.
The former Yankee was one of Bostons World Series heroes, highlighted by his epic relief performance in Game 3 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, which lasted 18 innings.
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According to the Boston Globes Nick Cafardo, the Red Sox are aware of potential interest by the Yankees:
The Yankees likely will kick the tires on a lot of pitchers. Patrick Corbin likely will be high on the list. Maybe even Nathan Eovaldi, a pitcher Cashman once had and let go after a few months after Eovaldi needed Tommy John surgery.
Eovaldis agents, the Levinsons, are already here trying to see what the landscape is for their client this offseason. The right-handers bound to be in great demand as a free agent. In a perfect world, Eovaldi would likely return to the Red Sox as the third or fourth starter on a talented staff. But as (Dave) Dombrowski has pointed out on a few occasions, its unrealistic to think that you can bring back a championship team in its entirety. Still, if you had the opportunity to bring back one of the Sox free agents, Eovaldi would probably be the unanimous choice because he was so important to the cause.
He made a total of six appearances in the 2018 playoffs, including four out of the bullpen. Eovaldi went 2-1 with a 1.61 ERA in the postseason, and regularly topped 100 mph on the radar gun.
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