So Long Nate: Eovaldi Dealt To Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG (620 WDAE) -- The Tampa Bay Rays have made their first move prior to the July 31 trade deadline today, dealing right-hander Nathan Eovaldi to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for minor-league left-hander Jalen Beeks.

Eovaldi, who the Rays signed to a two-year deal prior to the 2017 season, made ten starts for the Rays after returning from Tommy John surgery in 2016 with a follow-up elbow surgery at the beginning of this season.  The 28-year-old was 3-4 with a 4.26 ERA with 53 strikeouts and just eight walks in 57 innings of work.

Beeks made his Major League debut this season with the Red Sox June 7, starting against the Detroit Tigers.  At Triple-A Pawtucket this season, he is 5-5 with a 2.89 ERA and has struck out 117 batters in 87 1/3 innings.

The release from the team is below:

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays have traded right-handed pitcher Nathan Eovaldi to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for left-handed pitcher Jalen Beeks.

Eovaldi, 28, returned from August 2016 Tommy John surgery and March 30 arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow to make 10 starts for the Rays, going 3-4 with a 4.26 ERA (57-IP, 27-ER). Min. 50 IP, he ranked among American League leaders in strikeout-to-walk ratio (6.63, third), walks per nine innings ratio (1.26, second) and WHIP (0.98, eighth). With his season debut on May 30 at Oakland, he became the 12th pitcher at the time to start in the majors after multiple Tommy John surgeries. Of the pitchers who have done so, he is only the seventh to make at least five starts. Eovaldi was scheduled to start today’s game against the New York Yankees. Over parts of seven seasons in the majors, he is 41-50 with a 4.22 ERA (796-IP, 373-ER) in 144 apps (137 starts). He is eligible to become a free agent following the season.

Beeks, 25, is on the 40-man roster and his assignment is to be determined. He has totaled three days of major league service time over two stints with the Red Sox this season, and made his major league debut in a start on June 7 against the Detroit Tigers. In 16 starts with Triple-A Pawtucket, he is 5-5 with a 2.89 ERA (87.1-IP, 28-ER) and 117 SO for a 12.06 strikeouts per nine innings ratio. He ranks among International League leaders in ERA (fifth), strikeouts (tied for second), WHIP (1.09, second) and opponents’ batting average (.215, third), and ranks among Red Sox minor leaguers in ERA (sixth) and strikeouts (first).

Over parts of five minor league seasons, Beeks is 34-28 with a 3.63 ERA (515.2-IP, 208-ER) in 96 apps (94 starts). In 2017, he was named the Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Year, going 11-8 with a 3.29 ERA (145-IP, 53-ER) in 26 starts between Double-A Portland and Pawtucket. At Double-A, he recorded a scoreless streak of 25 innings from April 22–May 18, the second-longest in Portland franchise history. He was selected by the Red Sox in the 12th round of the 2014 June Draft out of the University of Arkansas, where he was a teammate of Ryne Stanek for one season (2013).

Beeks entered the season ranked by Baseball America as the No. 11 prospect in the Red Sox organization. In its midseason update, he was ranked by the publication as the No. 6 prospect in the system.

This is only the second time in franchise history the Rays have made a trade with the Red Sox. On July 21, 1999, the Rays traded right-handed pitcher Julio Santana to the Red Sox in exchange for a player to be named and cash considerations. On July 30, 1999, the Red Sox sent minor league left-handed pitcher Will Silverthorn to the Rays to complete the trade.

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