Tampa Bay Rays Sign Free Agent Veteran Pitcher To 3-Year Deal

The Tampa Bay Rays are getting a head start on the Winter Meetings which don't begin until Sunday, adding a free agent starting pitcher to their rotation. 

Zach Eflin has agreed to a 3-year, $40M deal with the Rays, pending a physical, according to MLB Insider Jeff Passan. 

It's a homecoming for Eflin, who was born in nearby Orlando, Florida. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Boston Red Sox made a similar offer to the right-hander, but the opportunity to pitch close to home won out. 

Eflin has spent his entire 7-year major league career with the Philadelphia Phillies, compiling a 4.49 ERA with a 1.29 WHIP. His performance over the past four seasons has been better however, with an ERA hovering in and around the 4.00 mark. 

In 2022, the 28-year-old made seven relief appearances later in the season after 13 games in his usual role as a starter. He finished with a 4.04 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP, with a 65:15 K/BB ratio. He missed nearly three months with a right knee injury.

Believe it or not, this deal marks the largest free-agent contract ever handed out by the Rays, as noted by mlb.com, surpassing the $35M they gave Wilson Alvarez over five years back in 1997.

Photo: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports