Rangers agree to terms with free agent RHP Nathan Eovaldi on two-year contract with vesting player option for 2025 season

December 28th, 2022

Arlington, Texas — The Texas Rangers tonight announced that the club has agreed to terms with free agent right-handed pitcher Nathan Eovaldi (pronounced ee-VAHL-dee) on a two-year contract covering the 2023-24 seasons.  The deal also includes a vesting player option for the 2025 campaign.

Eovaldi completed a physical exam today in Arlington.  No financial terms were disclosed.  Details for a press conference next week to introduce Eovaldi will be announced in the coming days.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Eovaldi, right-handed pitcher Nick Mears has been designated for assignment.

“I’m elated that we have added another standout pitcher to our rotation in Nathan Eovaldi,” said Texas Rangers Executive Vice President & General Manager Chris Young. “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, who turns 33 in February, went 6-3 with a 3.87 ERA (47 ER/109.1 IP) over 20 games/starts for the Red Sox in 2022, including a 4-0 record and 2.64 ERA in 10 road starts.  His 2.64 road ERA finished as 9th-best in the American League (minimum 10 starts).  He also ranked among American League leaders (minimum 100.0 IP) in strikeouts per walk rate (8th, 5.15) and walks per 9 innings (9th, 1.65), posting a career-high 11 strikeouts on May 22 vs. Seattle.  He finished 2nd in the A.L. with 2 complete games, the first such outings of his career.  Eovaldi spent time on the Injured List last season with low back inflammation (June 9-July 14) and right shoulder inflammation (August 19-September 28).

Since the start of 2019, Eovaldi has induced misses on 26.1% of swings by opposing batters, the 9th-best rate in the American League over that span (minimum 400.0 IP).  He leads all A.L. pitchers since the start of 2020 (minimum 300.0 IP) in both walks per 9 innings (1.64) and strikeouts per walk (5.65).  An All-Star for the first time in his career in 2021, Eovaldi finished fourth that year in A.L. Cy Young Award voting behind Toronto’s Robbie Ray, New York-AL’s Gerrit Cole, and Chicago-AL’s Lance Lynn.  He has a career record of 67-68 with a 4.16 ERA over 240 games/221 starts with Los Angeles-NL (2011-12), Miami (2012-14), New York-AL (2015-16), Tampa Bay (2018), and Boston (2018-22).

Eovaldi saw extensive postseason action with Boston in both 2018 and 2021, going 4-3 with a 3.14 ERA over 11 games/6 starts.  He pitched in 3 of the 5 World Series games in the Red Sox’ 2018 championship run.  Eovaldi has been the Red Sox’ Opening Day starter in each of the last three seasons.  He has won both career starts in Arlington (2-0, 0.69), including a victory in his lone outing at Globe Life Field on April 30, 2021 (6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R-ER, 2 BB, 5 SO).  He joins Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan as the only graduates of Alvin (TX) High School to reach the Major Leagues.

Mears was acquired by Texas via waiver claim from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday, December 23.  The 26-year-old spent the majority of the 2022 season on the Injured list after having arthroscopic surgery to clean up scar tissue in his right elbow on February 9, 2022.  The Rangers have seven days to trade, release, or outright Mears to the minor leagues.

With today’s transactions, the Rangers remain at the 40-man limit on the Major League roster.