The Astros are reportedly showing continued interest in the free-agent right-hander, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network.
Signing with Houston would represent a homecoming for Eovaldi, whose hometown of Alvin, Texas is only 40 minutes south of Minute Maid Park. Alvin is also the hometown of Nolan Ryan, the Hall of Fame pitcher and strikeout king who currently works as an executive adviser in the Astros' front office.
Eovaldi is one of the most sought-after pitchers this winter after a remarkable comeback season following his second Tommy John surgery. After the Boston Red Sox acquired him from Tampa Bay in July, he posted a 3.33 ERA, 2.88 FIP, and 48 strikeouts in 12 appearances (11 starts).
But it was in the postseason where the 28-year-old truly left his mark, crafting a sparkling 1.61 ERA, 0.806 WHIP, and 16 strikeouts over 22 1/3 innings across three rounds. He showed tremendous versatility, shifting between the rotation and bullpen throughout the postseason as needed. Eovaldi won Game 3 of the ALCS as a starter, then slammed the door on the Astros' hopes of repeating as world champions two days later with 1 1/3 shutout innings of relief in the pennant-clinching Game 5.
Houston needs to fill at least one, if not two, holes in its rotation ahead of the season as veterans Charlie Morton and Dallas Keuchel are also free agents. The team is also facing some long-term holes beyond this year, as stars Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole are set to hit the market next winter. Signing Eovaldi to a long-term deal could help mitigate those potential losses.
The Astros have significant competition for his services, as nine teams, including the Red Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, and Los Angeles Angels are said to be interested in Eovaldi. It's also been reported that the right-hander's preference would be to re-sign with the Red Sox.