The Rays made the first notable pitching move on the free agent market, reaching a three-year, $40 million deal with right-hander Zach Eflin, a source told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. The team has not confirmed the move, which is subject to the results of medical examinations.
It’s the largest free agent contract the Rays have awarded, surpassing the five-year, $35 million contract signed by Wilson Alvarez in 1997.
Eflin has started most of his MLB career, making 115 starts over seven seasons. He posted a 4.37 ERA for the Phillies in 13 starts, but after missing nearly three months with a right knee injury, Eflin returned in September as a member of Philadelphia’s bullpen and posted a 2.45 ERA with 21 strikeouts and two walks at 18.1 innings between the close of the regular season and the playoffs.
Taken by the Padres in the first round of the 2021 Draft, Eflin will turn 29 in April. He made his Philadelphia debut in 2016 after being acquired from the Dodgers in 2014 during the trade that sent Jimmy Rollins to the West Coast.
His best season, in terms of EFE+, was 2019, when he posted an EFE+ of 108 in 163.1 innings in 32 appearances (28 starts).