Report: Red Sox haven't engaged in contract talks with staff ace

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At a time when the Boston Red Sox are already struggling to secure contract extensions with some key players, it sounds like it's time to add another to the list.

According to Rob Bradford of WEEI, the team hasn't even begun extension talks with its best pitcher: Nathan Eovaldi.

Bradford said that the Red Sox "haven't engaged in any contract conversations with Nathan Eovaldi or his representatives." Eovaldi is in the final season of a four-year, $68 million pact he signed with the team following its 2018 championship.

Tomase: Red Sox did nothing to bolster pitching staff and now it's biting them

Through Friday, Boston ranked 23rd in Major League Baseball in starters' earned run average (6.07) and was one of 13 teams still yet to record a quality start (at least six innings pitching, three earned runs or fewer). Eovaldi, for his part, has a 4.50 ERA over his first two starts, having pitched 10 innings with two walks and 13 strikeouts. He's allowed four home runs, most in the majors through Friday.

Even with middling returns thus far, it's frightening to think about a Red Sox rotation without the 32-year-old Eovaldi at the moment. And that's before getting into the sideways extension talks with lineup stalwarts Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers.

Eovaldi had the best season of his career in 2021, going 11-9 with a 3.75 ERA over an American League-leading 32 starts, good enough for a fourth-place finish in AL Cy Young voting and his first All-Star nod.

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