Former WS Champion could be ideal addition to Padres rotation
By Mike Luciano
The San Diego Padres may have a starting lineup that is overflowing with proven veteran performers and All-Star sluggers, but AJ Preller is likely well aware of the fact that they have an extremely thin starting rotation that could undo all of the progress they have made.
If the season started today, San Diego's No. 4 and No. 5 starters would be Nick Martinez, who jumped between the rotation and the bullpen last season, and Seth Lugo, a quality reliever who was signed with the intent of converting him into a starter. Not ideal.
San Diego has shown that they are willing to cross whatever competitive fiscal threshold exists in order to build a competitive team. If Preller is hellbent on building a winner, he must attempt to sign former Boston Red Sox arm Nathan Eovaldi to be the No. 4 starter.
The Padres have shown some degree of interest in Eovaldi, but former Padre Brandon Drury and the Los Angeles Angels are also trying to lure him to Anaheim in their eternal quest for reliable bullpen arms. Do the Padres have enough at their disposal to win out?
Can the San Diego Padres sign Nathan Eovaldi?
While Eovaldi has a career 4.16 ERA, he has reduced that number to just 3.79 in his previous three seasons with the Red Sox. After becoming a World Series folk hero and making an All-Star team in Boston, he's no longer the toolsy prospect he was as a Marlin or Yankee.
Eovaldi may have Tommy John surgery on his ledger and missed 13 starts last season due to injuries, but there is still value to be mined there for San Diego if they can get him to town on a well-compensated two-year deal that gives them an off-ramp. If everything clicks, Preller will look like a genius.
One of the main concerns surrounding Eovaldi is the fact that a guy who used to touch 100 miles per hour with his fastball regularly is now sitting more in the 95 MPH range. While he is still an effective pitcher, the Padres need to be wary of committing to him long-term. Without his fastball, he's limited from a stuff standpoint.
The Padres still need to make two or three more signings to cover their holes on the roster completely, and bringing in Eovaldi would undoubtedly help a flimsy starting rotation compete with a Dodgers team that is showing no signs whatsoever of slowing down.