Eovaldi is clearly banking on his All-Star 2021 campaign to draw interest in free agency. He ended that season with a superb 2.79 ERA and finished 4th in AL Cy Young voting. However, Eovaldi took a step backwards in 2022 and dealt with injuries and underperformance. Eovaldi ultimately pitched to the tune of a 4.30 ERA over the course of just 20 games.
Nathan Eovaldi was certainly a candidate to accept the QO. Teams will likely be hesitant to dish out big money to the 32-year veteran following his injury-plagued year. However, the lack of depth in the starting pitching market may have been what led Eovaldi to decline the Red Sox' QO offer.
Jacob deGrom, Justin Verlander and Carlos Rodon lead the starting pitching free agency market. Japanese pitcher Kodai Senga will also draw interest. Meanwhile, Tyler Anderson recently signed with the Los Angeles Angels. There are other options, but Nathan Eovaldi will be one of the most interesting available pitchers.
The Red Sox endured an underwhelming 2022 season after reaching the ALCS in 2021. It is possible that Eovaldi simply wants a fresh start. With that being said, Boston could still attempt to re-sign Eovaldi as a free agent.
Teams that have been linked to starting pitching this offseason include the Rangers, Blue Jays, Yankees, Dodgers, Mets, Braves, and others. Nathan Eovaldi should still receive interest despite his surprising qualifying offer decision.