Free agent starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi.
By Brendan Kuty
NEW YORK — The Yankees and free agent starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi have discussed a deal that would bring the injured right-hander back to the organization while he rehabilitates from Tommy John surgery, general manager Brian Cashman said Tuesday night.
But Eovaldi, who won’t pitch until 2018, is still weighing his options and there’s competition for the 26-year-old.
Here’s what Cashman said about discussions with Eovaldi:
“Obviously, he’s a free agent, and we’ve had some discussions with Nate Eovaldi about trying to find a solution that works for both sides. But he’s still a free agent and there’s competition for him. Other than the injury, you couldn’t say enough about him. His makeup’s off the charts. His work ethic was off the charts. He was a performer for us. But, unfortunately, injury hit. But he’s on the free market, and he’s weighing a lot of different decisions. Yes, I’ve talked to (Eovaldi’s agent) Seth Levinson several times regarding him.”
Eovaldi had Tommy John and surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon on Aug. 16.
It was Eovaldi’s second Tommy John surgery. He had his first in high school.
Eovaldi has had a frustrating stint with the Yankees, who acquired him from the Marlins before the 2015 season. He’s gone 38-46 with a 4.45 ERA.
The Yankees have tried to unlock the strikeout potential of Eovaldi, who doesn’t get many swings and misses despite an average fastball velocity of 97.9 mph. Pitching coach Larry Rothschild helped Eovaldi develop a splitter to mixed success.
Eovaldi was demoted to the bullpen for a brief period after serious struggles starting.