The team lacked a true ace, but the righty did everything in his power to fix that.
Eovaldi put together a fantastic season, and it might have gone unnoticed by some fans due to the fact that his ERA didn’t reflect his dominance.
All things considered, it was a career year for the 31-year-old.
Eovaldi’s 2021 Season In A Nutshell
Eovaldi was Boston’s horse in 2021.
He made 32 starts and totaled 182.1 innings of work.
He wound up posting a 3.75 ERA.
That’s definitely a solid mark, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.
It’s important to look at other statistics, too, like his 2.79 FIP.
His FIP was a league-best mark this past season.
Nathan Eovaldi, Filthy 89mph Splitter…and Sword. ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/G98PUjCDWx
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 6, 2021
It’s helpful to think of FIP as a predictive ERA.
When a pitcher’s ERA is substantially higher than his FIP, you can interpret that to mean that the pitcher has been better than his ERA implies.
When a pitcher’s ERA is substantially lower than his FIP, that’s typically a red flag.
That’s usually a sign of unsustainable success.
In Eovaldi’s case, the dominoes didn’t exactly fall his way in 2021 from an ERA standpoint.
His FIP suggests that his ERA should have been much lower than it was.
That’s unfortunate, but it’s part of baseball.
FIP and ERA aside, Eovaldi’s dominance showed up in other categories.
He posted an impressive bWAR of 4.6, ERA+ of 126, and WHIP of 1.19.
When all was said and done, he finished fourth in the AL Cy Young race and 15th in the AL MVP race.
Voters clearly recognized how valuable he was to this Red Sox team.
What’s Next For Eovaldi?
Right now, the Red Sox only have Eovaldi under contract for one more season.
He’s set to become a free agent at the conclusion of the 2022 campaign.
Given the way he performed in 2021, a lot of Red Sox fans want to see the organization lock him down with an extension.
But according to a report, folks shouldn’t expect to hear about any extension talks for a couple more months.
“According to a major league source, there are no plans to talk contract for Eovaldi with the Red Sox until February,” wrote Rob Bradford of WEEI.
It’ll be very interesting to see if the Red Sox can come to an agreement on a deal with Eovaldi.
If not, the veteran will probably go through the 2022 season with a chip on his shoulder in a contract year.
While a motivated Eovaldi sounds like a great thing, a long-term deal sounds like an even better thing.
Eovaldi has already won one World Series title with Boston, and he’d surely love to get another.
Nathan Eovaldi appreciation tweet. pic.twitter.com/9tqGl5NyhS
— Red Sox (@RedSox) December 7, 2018
As it stands now, the 2022 season might be the one-time All-Star’s last chance to win another ring with the Red Sox.
The hope is that the two sides can work something out, but nothing is guaranteed, of course.
Time will tell what happens.