Morning sports update: Red Sox, Nathan Eovaldi moving ‘steadily closer’ to new deal

A Red Sox playoff hero could be returning to Fenway in 2019.

Nathan Eovaldi
Red Sox pitcher Nathan Eovaldi throws against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the 18th inning in Game 3 of the World Series. –Jae C. Hong / AP Photo

The Bruins face the Lightning in Tampa at 7:30 p.m., while the Celtics host the Knicks at TD Garden (8 p.m.)

On Sunday, the Patriots are in Miami to with a chance to clinch the AFC East for the 10th year in a row (kickoff at 1 p.m.)

The Red Sox are reportedly close to re-signing Nathan Eovaldi: On Wednesday night, multiple reports indicated that a deal between the Red Sox and free agent pitcher Nathan Eovaldi is increasingly possible.

Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe reported that a source told him the two sides are “moving steadily closer.” The 28-year-old proved to be a playoff hero for his resilience and dominance in several starts (and a few notable relief appearances).

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MLB insider Jon Heyman reported that the deal could be worth $68 million over four years.

More from Boston.com:

Devin McCourty is the Patriots’ nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award:

Looking ahead to the Seattle expansion draft: Still three years away, the granting of a new NHL franchise in Seattle nonetheless means an eventual expansion draft. The Bruins can protect their core players, but have to leave a few for the new team to potentially select. [The Athletic]

The unsung playmaker on defense: Since being traded to the Patriots from the Lions in 2016, Kyle Van Noy has had to scrap for a role in the team’s defense. Yet this season, the linebacker’s work is paying dividends. He leads New England in tackles and has played 88 percent of defensive snaps in a variety of roles. [ESPN]

The Patriots’ pass rush: Though it hasn’t received much credit in the 2018 season, the Patriots’ pass rush has been better than the team’s sack total indicates. It’s a position that both advanced stats and Bill Belichick currently agree on. [NESN]

Just a hair unfair: Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini fouled Arsenal’s Matteo Guendouzi in a 2-2 tie on Wednesday by tugging on his hair. He won’t face retrospective punishment.

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Daily highlight: Giannis Antetokounmpo threw it down on Blake Griffin.

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