Red Sox

Report: Eflin chose Rays over Red Sox despite identical offers

Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox have yet to sign a significant free agent this offseason, but it apparently isn't for a lack of trying.

After falling short in the Jose Abreu sweepstakes, the Red Sox reportedly tried and failed to sign free-agent right-hander Zach Eflin. The former Philadelphia Phillies starter signed a three-year, $40 million contract with the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday despite receiving the same offer from Boston, according to USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale. The opportunity to play close to his home in Orlando, Fla. was the difference-maker.

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Eflin, 28, posted a 36-45 record and 4.49 ERA through 127 games (115 starts) in seven seasons with Philadelphia. He missed time due to injury in 2022 but was effective when he took the mound as he finished the year with 4.04 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in 20 appearances (13 starts).

The reported deal for Eflin marks the largest free-agent contract in Rays history. It would have marked the second-largest free-agent contract for the Red Sox in the Chaim Bloom era.