Zach Eflin officially signs with the Rays after 7 seasons with the Phillies.
After the Philadelphia Phillies paid tribute to recently departed National League champion Zach Eflin, the seven-year veteran pitcher took to social media to thank the organization that he has called home for nearly eight years.
"“Thank you for countless friendships, memories, tears and laughs. I was honored to wear your jersey. You will always be my home. Take it easy, Philly.”"
The 28-year-old officially signed a three-year, $40 million contract with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday — marking the largest free-agent contract the Phillies’ 2008 World Series rival ever awarded in its history.
A former first-round draft pick, the Phillies acquired the Orlando, Florida, native from the Los Angeles Dodgers in December 2014, as part of the deal that sent franchise hits leader Jimmy Rollins to the National League West.
Eflin debuted in June 2016 and would go on to record a 36-45 win-loss record, 4.49 ERA, 1.295 WHIP, and 552-160 strikeouts-to-walks ratio across 127 overall games (115 starts) in red pinstripes. The right-hander’s lone career regular season save came in the team’s postseason clincher against their eventual World Series opponent Houston Astros in early October.
Phillies President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski wasted no time to find a replacement for Eflin on the team’s 2023 pitching staff. During the recent Winter Meetings, the organization reportedly signed former New York Mets starting pitcher Taijuan Walker to a four-year, $71 million contract.
It is sad to see Eflin leave the Phillies after so many years, however, the organization chose to spend its money elsewhere — particularly on yet another star player to a lifetime contract in shortstop Trea Turner.
Also, Eflin’s injury history is concerning, so Dombrowski opted to sign a starting pitcher in Walker who made 58 combined starts across the 2021 and 2022 seasons with the Mets.
Nonetheless, Eflin will be missed. Given he is now in the American League East, it will be particularly fun to root for him in starts against the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.