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Should Nathan Eovaldi be back in Boston next season?

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The situation surrounding Nathan Eovaldi is one of the biggest topics of the offseason for the Red Sox.

World Series - Boston Red Sox v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Three Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The simple answer to that question is “of course Nathan Eovaldi should be back.”

After the way Eovaldi performed for the Red Sox in the postseason — no performance being more gutsy and admirable than what he did in extra innings of Game 3 of the World Series — plenty of Red Sox fans would love to see Eovaldi back.

I know I for sure would. The only thing is, the Red Sox will have to cough up a nice chunk of money to make it happen because there are plenty of other teams interested in him, for good reason. At this point, we would like to see the Sox bring Eovaldi back, but we can also understand if they decide it’s in the team’s best interest to not do it.

We can also understand, should Boston not pay him, if Eovaldi decides to take his talents to a team that is willing to pay him the money. He has certainly earned it.

If I’m being completely honest, I never imagined that this was a scenario we, as Red Sox fans, would be dealing with. When the Red Sox traded for Eovaldi in July, it just seemed like a simple move to put another experienced arm in the rotation. I viewed him the same way I viewed Ian Kinsler; just a two-month rental to add a little insurance for the stretch run.

When the season was over, it seemed likely that the Red Sox and Eovaldi would part ways, and the fans wouldn’t really think much of it. He would be just another smalltime guy that finished his job in Boston, and then he would move on, and so would we.

But then, completely unexpectedly, Eovaldi became a postseason hero. He shut down the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, and he did the same against the Astros in the ALCS. Without him, the Red Sox might not have even made it to the World Series at all.

Though he was Boston’s most clutch starter throughout the entire postseason, nothing even comes close to what he did out of the bullpen in Game 3 at Dodger Stadium. He pitched six scoreless innings of relief during extra innings when he was scheduled to be the Game 4 starter the very next day. Frame after frame, he kept giving the Sox more chances to win.

Though he eventually took the loss, I’ve never seen an athlete take on a complete warrior’s mentality the way Eovaldi did that night. He was the true MVP of that game, and arguably of the postseason as a whole.

I’d love for Eovaldi to be back with the Red Sox in 2019. But he has earned that paycheck, and he needs to cash in wherever he can. If it’s not with the Red Sox, that’s fine too. Eovaldi did what we needed him to do, and more. However, if Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox decide that he is worth the money, well then that’s great for him and even better for us.