Earlier today, the Tampa Bay Rays sent righty starter Nathan Eovaldi to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Triple-A pitching prospect Jalen Beeks. Eovaldi, an impending free agent, is a rental acquisition meant to help Boston’s ailing starting rotation.
Beeks is a legitimate enough piece to get back for an Eovaldi. Certainly won't hurt the Happ negotiations for #BlueJays
— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) July 25, 2018
What does this have to do with the Blue Jays? It should help the team in their J.A. Happ trade negotiations. For starters, Eovaldi is a hell of a lot less of a proven commodity than Happ is. He didn’t pitch last season due to Tommy John surgery and, this year, he’s tossed 57 innings with a 4.26 ERA. The Rays managed to get a legit return for a guy who profiles as a back-of-the-rotation starter on a good team. Beyond that, this could also kick the Yankees, who are neck-and-neck with Boston for the American League East crown, in the ass to acquire another starting pitcher.
Beeks was ranked No. 6 in Boston’s farm system by both FanGraphs and Baseball America. FanGraphs gives him a rating of 45 on their scouting scale, which, for the sake of comparison, puts him around the same area as guys in Toronto’s system like Ryan Borucki and T.J. Zeuch.
If this is the kind of player that Nathan Eovaldi, an inconsistent back-of-the rotation type guy can net in a rental trade, it indicates that Happ should be able to get the Blue Jays a solid return. I don’t know if we’re quite looking at a top-100 type prospect at this point, but this sets the standard for Ross Atkins as he negotiates a deal for the best rental arm on the market.
I don’t know. Maybe I’m off here and I’m just looking for reasons to be positive. To be fair, Dave Dombroski’s favourite hobby is trading prospects away, so maybe this doesn’t mean anything.