The Tampa Bay Rays have officially announced their signing of RHP Zach Eflin to a three year $40M contract.
The $40M contract is the largest ever given out by the Tampa Bay Rays to a free agent, surpassing the previous high of $35 given to Wilson Alvarez before the team ever played a game.
The 2023 season will be Eflin’s eighth in the big leagues and the first time since 2015 that he has played for any organization besides the Philadelphia Phillies. Originally a first round draft pick by the San Diego Padres in 2012, Eflin would be included in a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers that sent OF Matt Kemp to the San Diego; the Dodgers then immediately flipped Eflin to the Phillies for SS Jimmy Rollins.
Eflin made his big league debut in 2016 and struggled at first to cement himself as a permanent part of their roster. In 2018 however, Eflin broke out and showcased himself as a true Major League level talent and from then on, he has been an integral part of the Phillies roster.
From 2018 through 2022, Eflin compiled a 4.16 ERA and 4.02 FIP with a 21.6 K% and 5.8 BB% over 531 2⁄3 innings pitched (93 games started & 105 games pitched).
To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, the Tampa Bay Rays have designated RHP JP Feyereisen for assignment. Feyereisen was excellent out of the bullpen for Tampa Bay as he provided 24 1⁄3 scoreless innings in 2022, but went down with an injury, a right shoulder impingement in June, and despite a valiant rehab effort, he was unable to return as the injury ultimately cost him the season.
Feyereisen and the Rays received more bad news this past week when it was revealed the pitcher underwent shoulder surgery that could keep him out for almost the entire 2023 season.