Rays sign Jeffrey Springs to four-year extension

January 25th, 2023

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—The Tampa Bay Rays have signed left-handed pitcher Jeffrey Springs to a four-year, $31 million contract through the 2026 season, including a club option for the 2027 season. The pact is worth up to $65.75 million if the club option is exercised, innings pitched incentives are reached and Cy Young Award escalators are triggered.

Springs, 30, is 14-6 with a 2.70 ERA (180-IP, 54-ER) in 76 appearances (25 starts) since being acquired by the Rays in February 2021. Last season, he transitioned to the starting rotation in May and enjoyed a breakout campaign, going 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA (135.1-IP, 37-ER) in 33 appearances (25 starts). Min. 100 IP, his 2.46 ERA ranked second in franchise history behind Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell (1.89) in 2018, and it ranked sixth in the American League behind the top four in Cy Young Award voting—HOU Justin Verlander (1.75), CHW Dylan Cease (2.20), TOR Alek Manoah (2.24) and LAA Shohei Ohtani (2.33)—and eighth-place NYY Nestor Cortes (2.44). Min. 100 IP, Springs ranked 10th in the AL with a 29.6 pct. swing-and-miss rate, 13th with a 1.07 WHIP and 13th with a 4.65 SO/BB ratio. He allowed three runs (or fewer) in 22 of 25 starts and two runs (or fewer) 17 times. He went 6-3 with a 2.40 ERA (71.1-IP, 19-ER) in 14 starts after the All-Star break.

Last season, eight of his first nine appearances through May 3 came out of the bullpen, starting a bullpen day on April 28 (2.2 IP) over that stretch. He went 3.1 IP in relief on May 3 before officially joining the starting rotation on May 9 at the Los Angeles Angels. From April 28–May 27, he increased his workload in six consecutive appearances (five starts), including 5.2 IP and 6 IP in starts from May 21-27. He became a regular member of a starting rotation for the first time since 2017, when he spent the entire season with Class-A Down East and his first 17 appearances came as a starter, going 1-8 with a 4.60 ERA (90-IP, 46-ER) in that role. He transitioned to the Down East bullpen on July 26 that season.

Springs was acquired by the Rays with right-handed pitcher Chris Mazza and cash considerations from the Boston Red Sox on February 17, 2021 in exchange for catcher Ronaldo Hernández and minor league infielder Nick Sogard. He was selected by the Texas Rangers in the 30th round of the 2015 Amateur Draft out of Appalachian State University.