Tampa Bay Rays Roster
- AL East
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The Tampa Bay Rays agreed to a three-year, $40 million deal with free-agent right-hander Zach Eflin on Thursday. Eflin became a free agent this winter when he declined a $15 million mutual option to remain with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2023. Although he served as a bullpen piece for the Phillies in the postseason, Eflin projects to be a significant piece of Tampa's starting rotation next year. The 28-year-old made only 20 appearances (13 starts) for Philly this year due to injuries, and he posted a 4.04 ERA (3.56 FIP), a 1.12 WHIP, his first career save, 65 strikeouts and only 15 walks in 75 2/3 innings pitched. Eflin was much more effective as a reliever in 2022 (1.17 ERA, 0.522 WHIP) in 7 2/3 regular season innings.
The Tampa Bay Rays released former first-round pick starting pitcher/potential two-way player Brendan McKay Monday, per Tampa Bay Times' Marc Topkin. The 26-year-old lefty was the fourth overall pick in the 2017 draft. McKay made his big-league debut in 2019, pitching 49 innings with a 5.14 ERA. However, he has dealt with several arm injuries and hasn't played with the Rays since. Most recently, he had Tommy John surgery and will likely not pitch again until 2024. The Rays are interested in re-signing him to a new longer-term, minor-league contract.
Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Pete Fairbanks (hand) was removed during Saturday's Wild Card game against the Cleveland Guardians. The right-hander was pulled after issuing two straight walks in the sixth inning. The 28-year-old explained that he couldn't feel his fingers. The organization is hopeful that it's only a minor circulation issue. Hopefully he'll be able to fully recover and be ready for the beginning of spring training next season.
Tampa Bay Rays outfielder David Peralta will remain on the bench for Game 2 of the American League Wild-Card Series on Saturday against the Cleveland Guardians and right-hander Triston McKenzie. Peralta has been on the bench for the first two games of the Wild-Card Series against the Guardians against right-handed pitchers, and it could be related to the fact that he injured his hip towards the end of the regular season earlier this week. Randy Arozarena is in left field for the Rays and is hitting third against McKenzie. The 35-year-old Peralta was much better against right-handed pitchers this year, going .267 (100-for-374) with 11 of his 12 home runs coming against them.
Tampa Bay Rays infielder Isaac Paredes is getting the start at second base and is hitting sixth in the batting order in Game 2 of the American League Wild-Card Series on Saturday against the Cleveland Guardians and right-hander Triston McKenzie as the Rays look to avoid elimination in the series. Paredes hit only .205 in the regular season in 331 at-bats, but he did manage to slug a career-high 20 home runs after hitting just two combined home runs in 2020 and 2021 for the Detroit Tigers. He entered the Game 1 loss on Friday in the eighth inning and singled in his only plate appearance, but he entered the postseason going 0-for-17 in 21 plate appearances in his final six regular season games.