The Texas Rangers have added another proven veteran to their revamped starting rotation.
Texas native Nathan Eovaldi agreed Tuesday to a two-year contract that includes a vesting player option for the 2025 season. The team announced the deal after the right-hander completed a physical exam in Texas.
Eovaldi’s addition comes only 3 1/2 weeks after the Rangers signed two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom in free agency.
A person familiar with the deal said Eovaldi was guaranteed $34 million, with salaries of $16 million each in 2023 and 2024, and a $2 million signing bonus payable at a later date. That person spoke on condition on anonymity because the team didn’t disclose the terms, which include a vesting player option of $20 million for 2025 if Eovaldi pitches a total of 300 innings over the next two seasons.
Chris Young is elated
“I’m elated that we have added another standout pitcher to our rotation in Nathan Eovaldi,” Rangers general manager Chris Young said in a statement. “Nathan has quality stuff and an unmatched work ethic, and he’ll provide a veteran presence to the staff. The depth of our starting pitching will be a real asset for the 2023 Texas Rangers.”
Eovaldi has pitched for five teams over 11 big league seasons, the past 4 1/2 seasons with the Boston Red Sox. He went 6-3 with a 3.87 ERA while limited to 20 starts in 2022 because of two stints on the injured list (lower back inflammation and shoulder). He was 11-9 with a 3.75 ERA in 32 starts in 2021, when he was an All-Star for the first time and finished fourth in the AL Cy Young Award voting.
The Houston native is 67-68 with a 4.16 ERA in 240 career games (221 starts) with the Red Sox, Miami, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees and Tampa Bay. He will turn 33 in February, just before the start of spring training.
DeGrom agreed to a $185 million, five-year deal with the Rangers before the winter meetings this month.
Texas also signed left-hander Andrew Heaney to a $25 million, two-year contract in free agency, acquired Jake Odorizzi in a trade with Atlanta, and retained All-Star left-hander Martin Pérez with a $19.65 million qualifying offer. The Rangers signed right-hander Jon Gray to a $56 million, four-year deal last winter at the same time they added the half-billion dollar middle infield of Corey Seager and Marcus Semien.
The Rangers have had six consecutive losing seasons, the longest stretch for the franchise since moving to Texas in 1972. Three-time World Series champion Bruce Bochy came out of a three-year retirement in October to become their new manager.
To make room on the 40-man roster for Eovaldi, right-hander Nick Mears was designated for assignment. The Rangers acquired Mears last week on a waiver claim from Pittsburgh.