Zach Eflin's talents have now been transferred to the American League, as the Rays were able to sign him to a three-year, $40 million contract.
Eflin, who has spent most of his pro career with the Phillies organization, will be playing in the AL for the first time in his career with the Rays, a team that he grew up near, being only an hour and a half away in Orlando, leading to his decision with "Boston offering the same contract," according to USA Today MLB columnist Bob Nightengale.
This contract for Eflin also "makes him the largest free agent signing in Rays history," according to Tampa Bay Times Rays' writer Marc Topkin, who states that he surpassed the "largest total dollar amount for a contract," which was held by relief pitcher Wilson Alvarez, who made $35 million in 5 years with his contract in the inaugural season in '98.
Eflin will undoubtedly be a valuable addition to the rotation, as he appears to be a 3rd or 4th man in the rotation currently with this club and will receive his fair share of starts based on the contract.
Although Eflin was a highly touted pitching prospect in his early years with both San Diego and Philadelphia, Eflin hasn't shown what drew some people's attention in his early years, putting up a 4.49 ERA in his 7 years in the majors, with his best season coming in a shortened 2020 season, throwing for a 3.97 ERA and a 4-2 record in 10 starts with the Phillies.
With that being said, the Rays are a club that has found ways to work the system and get the best out of their pitchers, even ones who may have fallen off a bit in recent years, and make them into something, and the Rays are going to have to hope for that to occur if their return in investment with Eflin occurs.
With this move by the Rays, it now opens up the Rays in terms of the free agency market for 2022, as the Rays are expected to be very busy this offseason as the team heads into an interesting crossroads year with the club in 2023.
Follow me on Twitter: @micdupdspau