Even after the season ended, manager Alex Cora was still putting in work with his Red Sox— more specifically, with pitcher Nathan Eovaldi.
After the Red Sox’ World Series Championship run, Eovaldi became one of the most sought after free-agent pitchers in the league. But Cora was not about to let go of the hero of Game 3 that easy.
After the premiere of the 2018 Red Sox documentary, Cora called up Eovaldi to tell him about the crowd’s reactions to footage of Eovaldi’s outstanding performance in Game 3 of the World Series.
“A.C. was talking to me on the phone about it, and just to hear the reaction from the fans everything I was able to do in the postseason when I was traded over, it makes me super excited to be able to come back and join the Red Sox and be here for another four years,” Eovaldi told the Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato.
In the weeks following the Red Sox parade in early November, Eovaldi and Cora spoke on the phone “four or five times,” and not all of their conversations were recruitment-related. Cora was being his typical self and checking up on Eovaldi, who has previously undergone two Tommy John surgeries, often making sure he was keeping up with his offseason training programs and keeping his arm healthy.
“I mean, he was kind of acting like I was already part of the team still,” Eovaldi said. “I appreciate that because it keeps my mind right, knowing if I come back, the plan is already set in motion.”
Eovaldi signed a four-year, $68 million deal with the Red Sox last week, bringing other teams’ pursuit for the pitcher to a halt.
“There were other offers but the Red Sox, they came in with the best one,” Eovaldi said. “And the relationship that I had over there and all that I experienced that I gained, I feel like as a player, you have the love and support from your teammates, not only them but from the fans. And I felt like I was able to achieve that last year with the postseason run. I wanted to come back and experience that again, hopefully be a part of it this year and win another World Series.”