On Wednesday, the Rays made the first trade leading into the trade deadline, giving right-handed pitcher Nathan Eovaldi to the Red Sox in exchange for left-handed pitcher Jalen Beeks.
Of the trade, Eovaldi said to the Tampa Bay Times,
“I knew I was on the trading block. I guess my initial reaction when they first said I got traded, I was like oh, because I feel like I’ve developed such a relationship with all the guys here, and all the opportunity that the Rays gave me to come back and recover from my surgery.
He continued, “But then again when they said it was Boston I can’t help but be excited about that. First place in out division, that says a lot. … Really excited to going over there and helping that team.”
Eovaldi was slated to start against the Yankees today for the Rays, and reportedly had no idea about the deal until 10:30 this morning, when manager Kevin Cash asked him to come into the office. He said, “I was just about ready to start getting ready for the start when he called me in. Everything is kind of swirling right now.”
Now, fellow right-handed pitcher Austin Pruitt is set to replace Eovaldi on the roster for the evening. It’s unclear as to when Eovaldi will make his Red Sox debut.
As for Beeks, the Triple-A Pawtucket player was declared the Red Sox’s minor-league pitcher of the year in 2017, going 11-8 and 3.29 in the Double-A and Triple-A games he played. Earlier this month, Beeks was recalled to the PawSox, and was set to serve as a long reliever for the minor league team prior to the trade. For this season so far, he has a 2.89 ERA in 16 games with Triple-A Pawtucket this season, as well as having pitched twice in the big league for this season. He has yet to comment publicly on the trade.
Eovaldi will be eligible for free agency at the end of this season. Previously, he’d signed a one-year $2 million contract with the Rays.