We knew coming into this deadline that the Red Sox could go in any number of directions as one of the few clear sellers on the market and a lot of patches needed for this roster to turn into a contender. They made one trade on Sunday that sent Mitch Moreland to the Padres, but since then things have been mostly quiet on the rumor front outside of some vague allusions to the Mets being interested in Christian Vázquez. Well, folks, we’ve got a live one. According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, the Red Sox and Rangers have discussed a money swap type deal that would send Nathan Eovaldi to Texas with Rougned Odor coming to Boston.
Sources: In a money swap deal, Rangers have discussed Odor for Nathan Eovaldi. Could involve Rangers taking on money extra money. Could involve a prospect going to Boston. Could go nowhere.— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) August 31, 2020
Based on the tone of Grant’s tweet, it doesn’t appear that this deal is imminent by any stretch, but it is a very interesting proposal that could go in a number of different ways. As far as the financials go, Eovaldi is owed $34 million over the next two seasons on his contract carrying a $17 million average annual value. Odor, meanwhile, is owed $27.7 million over the next two years (this includes a $3 million buyout for a team option for the 2023 season) and his contract carries an AAV of $8.25 million.
So, the benefit for the Red Sox here would be purely financial. Even without any extra money being taken off the Red Sox’s plate, they’d save almost $9 million in average annual value. That said, they would also be giving up the better player. Eovaldi certainly has major question marks and may be better suited for a bullpen role (I still think he’s fine as a back-end starter, albeit an overpaid one). He is, however, a major-league player. It’s not entirely clear that Odor is. After a couple of solid seasons in 2015 and 2016, Odor has wRC+’s of: 56, 95, 77. and 17 over the last four seasons. He struggles to make contact, he doesn’t draw enough walks, and his power is not consistent enough.
If the Red Sox do get a prospect along with this deal it could certainly be worth discussing. If it’s just a salary dump, though, I am passing on this every time. The Red Sox are desperate for pitching, and even if he’s overpaid Eovaldi is a starter for this organization even in a fully healthy rotation next season. Trading a contributor at the biggest area of need isn’t worth the $9-ish million in savings they’d get here.