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Phillies, Zach Eflin avoid arbitration; agree to deal with mutual option for 2023

The Philadelphia Phillies and right-handed pitcher Zach Eflin avoided arbitration for the 2022 season and even agreed to a deal that includes a mutual option for the 2023 season.

Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia was the first to report the signing, with Bob Nightengale of USA Today adding the specifics that Eflin will make $5.7 million in 2022, with $300,000 in “performance bonuses.” Nightengale says the mutual option in 2023 will be worth $15 million, with Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer noting that the Phillies will have five days from the conclusion of the World Series to either exercise or decline Eflin’s option. If the Phillies exercise the option, Eflin — who is represented by Tom O’Connell of O’Connel Sports Management — will then get his say on whether he wants to exercise or decline the option and test free agency.

Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski confirmed Tuesday evening that the two sides had avoided arbitration and reached a pact that includes a mutual option for 2023. The Phillies did not release financial terms of the agreement.

Zach Eflin avoided arbitration with the Phillies Tuesday. (Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire)

Eflin, 28, was initially acquired by the Phillies from the Los Angeles Dodgers along with lefty Tom Windle in December of 2014, when the Phillies traded franchise icon Jimmy Rollins. It was one of the final major moves in Rubén Amaro Jr.’s tenure as general manager.

Now one of the longest-tenured Phillies, Eflin is 34-43 with a 4.50 ERA, 4.38 FIP and 8.3 fWAR in parts of seven seasons.

Eflin is off to a strong start in 2022, as he has a 3.65 ERA and 2.92 FIP across 37 innings. It’s entirely possible that if he continues to perform at that level, Eflin will decline his half of the $15 million option and seek a long-term deal in free agency, be it from the Phillies or someone else.

It’s hard to envision the Phillies selling at the trade deadline, but if they were to fall completely out of the race before Aug. 2, Eflin would certainly have his fair share of suitors.


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