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Playoff hero Nathan Eovaldi agrees to deal with Boston Red Sox

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Nathan Eovaldi is returning to the Boston Red Sox after agreeing to re-sign with the team, according to multiple reports.

The deal is pending a physical, as The Athletic first reported. Eovaldi has had two Tommy John surgeries, most recently in 2016.

Eovaldi, 28, emerged as a star in the postseason, dominating both as a starter and late-inning reliever.

After being acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays on July 25, Eovaldi went 3-3 with a 3.33 ERA in 11 starts and one long-relief appearance. He found his groove in September, with a 1.35 ERA in five appearances that gave a hint of what was to come in the postseason.

In 22 1/3 postseason innings, Eovaldi allowed only four earned runs, throwing 100 mph fastballs that were unhittable.

“He made himself a lot of money,” Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski said after the World Series win.

The right-hander handcuffed the New York Yankees in Game 3 of the American League Division Series, allowing one run in seven innings of a rout at Yankee Stadium. He stifled the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the ALCS, going six innings and getting the win. He also made three eighth-inning relief appearances that required him to record 10 outs against the Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Eovaldi became a folk hero in Boston with a sixth-inning stint in the 18-inning loss in Game 3 of the World Series in Los Angeles. Coming on in the 12th inning, Eovaldi threw 97 pitches in relief. Though he got the loss, teammates and coaches called the outing inspirational, citing his stamina and willingness to give his all.

“One of the best performances in the history of the World Series,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “… What Nate did, that was amazing.”

He was released by the Yankees in 2017 and signed a one-year, $2 million with the Rays for 2018. He made his return from surgery on May 30 and made 10 starts for Tampa Bay, going 3-4 with a 4.26 ERA.

Eovaldi has a 44-53 record and 4.18 ERA in stints with the Dodgers and Miami Marlins as well as the Yankees, Rays and Red Sox.

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MLB

Matt Adams returning to Washington Nationals on one-year deal

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First baseman Matt Adams is returning to the Washington Nationals on a one-year, $4 million deal, according to multiple reports.

The left-handed slugger finished last season with the St. Louis Cardinals after being waived by the Nationals in a salary dump in August.

Adams, 30, hit .239 with 21 home runs for the season, averaging .257 with 18 home runs in 94 games with the Nationals.

He gives the Nationals some left-handed power off the bench and relief for Ryan Zimmerman at first.

In seven seasons with the Cardinals, Atlanta Braves and Nationals, he has 96 home runs, 332 RBIs and a .266 average.

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Top spenders Red Sox owe nearly $12 million in luxury tax

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NEW YORK — The World Series champion Boston Red Sox owe $11.95 million in luxury tax for having baseball’s top payroll.

That’s according to final calculations by the commissioner’s office obtained by The Associated Press. The only other team that owes is the Washington Nationals, who must pay $2.39 million.

Because Boston was more than $40 million over the tax threshold, it also became the first team to incur a new penalty put in place for the 2018 season: the top Red Sox selection in next June’s amateur draft will be dropped 10 places.

Boston’s top pick had been projected to be No. 33 overall before the penalty.

The New York Yankees dropped under the threshold for the first time, and the Los Angeles Dodgers fell below for the first time since 2012.

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White Sox have limits on Manny Machado, Bryce Harper

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The White Sox slashed their payroll in recent seasons as they traded away players such as Chris Sale and Adam Eaton and went about the business of stockpiling prospects. This leaves them in perfect position to grow their payroll now, to make moves like the transaction they executed Friday, when they agreed to take on first baseman Yonder Alonso, a $9 million salary dump of the Cleveland Indians.

Alonso happens to be the brother-in-law of superstar free agent Manny Machado, and both players are represented by agent Dan Lozano. This move will feed industry theory that the White Sox are laying the groundwork for a significant, aggressive strike on either Machado or Bryce Harper, the two most prominent players available.

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