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Yankees potential trade chip: Nathan Eovaldi

If the Yankees sell, enigmatic right-hander Nathan Eovaldi could be on the move.

Minnesota Twins v New York Yankees Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

With the Aroldis Chapman sweepstakes in the rear view mirror, the Yankees have to decide if they’re going to be buyers or sellers at the non-waiver trade deadline. According to various sources, the next four to five games will determine the Yankees’ course of action. Should the upper management opt for a full sell off, Nathan Eovaldi proves an intriguing trade option.

The 2016 season has not treated Eovadli well. Heading into the series at Houston, Eovaldi has managed a 4.80 ERA (4.78). He’s posted a solid 7.16 K/9 rate while allowing an alarmingly high number of home runs. He has a 1.55 HR/9. That ranks in the bottom ten among qualified pitchers. Eovaldi got off to a rough start before posting a strong May. He pitched to a 3.25 ERA on the month before cratering in June and July. Things got so bad that he was demoted to the bullpen shortly before the All-Star break. He returned to the rotation on July 24th, holding the San Francisco Giants to two runs over seven innings.

Despite the poor showing, teams have expressed interest in Eovaldi. The Pirates, Rangers, and Cubs have all checked in on the right-hander. It’s likely that a number of other teams will inquire on him as well. Remember he’s only 26 and is a complete flame-thrower. In fact, he’s averaging 97.1 mph on his four-seam fastball. That’s a career high. He’s throwing harder than ever, which is intriguing. He also has been working on that splitter, which at times has shown flashes of dominance. That’s the kind of starter that teams would like to roll the dice on.

Eovaldi’s recent stint in the bullpen also makes for an interesting discussion. Could teams make a deal for Eovaldi with the idea of using him as a late-inning arm? Hard throwing relievers are in vogue, and a number of them are former starters. Just look at Wade Davis and Andrew Miller. Even Chapman briefly flirted with a starting pitcher’s role. Teams like to get creative at the deadline and down the stretch. Reports are circulating that some organizations are trying to trade for Andrew Cashner to be used in a bullpen role. Is this likely? Probably not, but it’s worth keeping an eye on.

On the other hand, the Yankees might opt to keep Eovaldi, or even extend him. It’s been frequently noted that the team lacks starters beyond the 2017 season. Eovaldi could become a rotation mainstay. He’s shown that he’s coachable, picking up the splitter grip, and works well with Larry Rothschild. Also, he has remained fairly healthy throughout his entire career, minus September of last year. He could be a middle-rotation innings eater with occasional flashes of dominance for years to come. At his age, that’s not somebody that you have to go out of your way to trade.

If the Yankees do decide to sell, rumors surrounding Eovaldi will be sure to grow. Several contending teams are in desperate need of rotation help. Trading for Eovaldi would not only bolster their pitching staff down the stretch, but next season as well. Personally, I’m in favor of an Eovaldi trade. I support the Yankees selling and acquiring as much young talent as possible. That said, if they choose to keep him, that’s fine with me too. Somebody has to start games, and Eovaldi has shown that he’s mostly capable of doing that.

What do you think? What kind of package would you like to see in exchange for Eovaldi? Let us know in the comments.