Nathan Eovaldi hasn't pitched for the Red Sox since April and there's no firm target for when he will pitch for them again.
But when he does, according to a report, it will likely be as their new closer.
Tom Caron of NESN reported that the Sox will shift Eovaldi from the starting rotation to the bullpen. Eovaldi, who originally was placed on the DL with an elbow issue that required surgery but has since suffered another setback with biceps tendinitis, has only been playing catch in his latest rehab attempt and is likely weeks away from a return to action.
It's easy to see why the Red Sox are turning to Eovaldi. He's pitched in relief before -- most famously for six innings in the marathon World Series Game 3 last October. And the Sox don't have any other readily available options at their disposal. There are no relievers in their minor league system capable of making the jump to major league closer.
Worse, the Red Sox' system, depleted by a series of trades, is only now getting replenished, with some evaluators ranking their system among the thinnest in the game. And over the weekend in London, owner John Henry said the Sox, already with the highest payroll in the game for the second straight season and nearing, again, the third and final luxury tax threshold and its attendant penalties, the Sox don't have a lot of room to add salary.
Still, desperate as they are, this move makes little sense on a number of fronts. Let us count the ways: