The slippery slope: How the Yankees let Nathan Eovaldi’s $34 million slip away

Nathan Eovaldi, former pitcher of the New York Yankees

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The New York Yankees faced challenges with their starting rotation during the 2023 season. Despite high expectations and a promising rotation on paper, injuries and inconsistent performances turned it into a weak point for the team. As a result, the Yankees are now looking to make additions during the upcoming offseason.

What happened?

Nathan Eovaldi, former pitcher of the New York Yankees

One player who had a successful 2023 season and expressed interest in joining the Yankees before signing with another team was Nathan Eovaldi, a star from the Texas Rangers, according to a report by Jon Heyman of the New York Post.

Heyman stated, “Nate Eovaldi had considered a return to the Yankees, but the Rangers secured the deal. Aaron Nola and Jordan Montgomery are also showcasing their free-agent potential.”

Eovaldi had previously played for the Yankees during the 2015 and 2016 seasons, making the prospect of a reunion intriguing. However, Eovaldi ultimately chose to sign with the Texas Rangers, and he had a commendable season, with a 3.63 ERA in 25 starts, striking out 132 batters in 144 innings pitched. Eovaldi’s performance in the postseason with the Rangers was particularly impressive, with only two earned runs allowed across 13 2/3 innings pitched and 15 strikeouts in two starts.

It appears that the Yankees were also interested in reuniting with Eovaldi, but they didn’t match the two-year, $34 million deal that Texas offered. In hindsight, bringing Eovaldi back could have been a wise move, but that opportunity is now in the past. New York is expected to explore various starting pitching options during the upcoming offseason and is likely to add at least one new pitcher to their roster.

Who will join the Yankees’ roster next season?

Heading into the upcoming season, there’s uncertainty surrounding the Yankees’ roster. If the leadership remains indecisive, the potential newcomers to the Yankees might not live up to fans’ expectations, leading to a potential disaster.

Despite recent comments by Hal Steinbrenner, implying that significant changes in personnel might not be on the horizon following the Yankees’ playoff absence, the offseason presents an opportunity for fresh faces to make their mark on the team. While the prospect of securing Shohei Ohtani remains a lofty goal, the Yankees could find value in bringing Cody Bellinger on board or by considering international acquisitions. Their success in these endeavors depends on their willingness to deploy their financial might and prioritize talent acquisition over concerns related to the Competitive Balance Tax and its associated penalties.

In the end, the Yankees’ path to success in the upcoming season hinges on the choices they make and the level of commitment they show in reshaping their roster. The decisions made in the offseason will play a pivotal role in determining whether the team can reclaim its former glory or face the consequences of hesitation and missed opportunities.

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