The Red Sox reportedly were ready to sign Zach Eflin to a three-year, $40 million deal.
But then the Rays got it done instead and Eflin decided to sign with Tampa Bay over Boston.
In an offseason where the Red Sox already missed out on Jose Abreu — who signed with the Houston Astros — and have a slew of questions ahead of them with uncertainty surrounding Xander Bogaerts and a lot of holes to fill in terms of pitching and the outfield.
Eflin would have been a nice end-of-the-rotation pitcher, but the Red Sox now will have to keep looking.
So, what changed Eflin’s mind?
According to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, “Eflin — who lives in Orlando, Fla. — reached out to the Rays to see if they would match the offer. They did, so Eflin reached an agreement with Tampa Bay on the same three-year, $40 million to head home. The Sox were not given a further opportunity to negotiate.”
It’s hard to compete with a team who can offer Eflin the comforts of his home state.
Still, it continues to leave the Red Sox right at square one this offseason.