Zach Eflin Signs Largest-Ever Free-Agent Deal With Tampa Bay Rays

Zach Eflin with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2019
Zach Eflin with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2019. Photo by Chris Szagola/CSM/Shutterstock (10364249b)

Right-hander Zach Eflin has agreed to a $40 million, three-year contract with the Tampa Bay Rays. The deal, which is pending a physical, is the largest-ever free-agent contract in the Rays’ history, exceeding the five-year, $35 million contract awarded to pitcher Wilson Alvarez prior to the team’s inaugural season in 1998.

Prior to the agreement with Eflin, the Rays were the last remaining MLB team yet to award a free-agent contract in excess of $35 million.

At 28 years old, Eflin became a free agent after turning down a $15 million mutual option for a $150,000 buyout from the Philadelphia Phillies, instead choosing to wrap up a $5.7 million, one-year contract.

Last season, Eflin went 3-5 with a 4.04 ERA, striking out 65 in 75⅔ innings. He also filled in as a pitcher during the World Series against the Houston Astros, pitching 4⅓ scoreless innings as the Phillies went on to lose in six games.

Prior to arriving at the Rays, Eflin had spent his entire seven-year career in the MLB at Philadelphia. He now joins a rotation including Tyler Glasnow, Shane McClanahan, and Drew Rasmussen.