The Unfortunate End of the Eovaldi Experiment

On Tuesday afternoon, it was reported that Nathan Eovaldi needs surgery to repair both a torn flexor tendon and a partially torn UCL. Eovaldi is slated to go under the knife on Friday, where both surgeries will be completed in one procedure. It has been reported that the recovery timeline may be up to 18 months, as this is his second Tommy John Surgery, along with the added flexor tendon injury (it was apparently "torn away from the bone").

As a result of this, it is a certainty that Eovaldi will be non-tendered this off-season - and 2017 would have been his final season or arbitration, prior to hitting the free agent market as a 27-year-old. His performance left quite a bit to be desired, but he would have undoubtedly earned at least a small raise over his $5.6 MM salary this season, and most any healthy starter earns a great contract as a free agent nowadays. And now everything is up in the air.

I would not be shocked, however, if the Yankees took the a chance on a two-year, incentive laden deal after non-tendering Eovaldi this Fall. They have done so before with the likes of Andrew Bailey, David Aardsma, and Jon Lieber, and Eovaldi is younger with more upside than those pitchers. There is essentially no risk, and it could pay dividends in 2018 once he is (hopefully) fully recovered. If the best-case scenario is that he can make it back as a reliever only, then it's well worth it.