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Velez has signed Zack Evelyn to sign the mutual option

Velez has signed Zack Evelyn to sign the mutual option

ATLANTA – The Phillies and Zach Eflin completed the pitcher’s 2022 salary determination process when they agreed to a one-year, $5.7 million contract on Tuesday.

The agreement precluded the need for a salary arbitration hearing on Wednesday. Normally, arbitration cases are heard and decided in January and February, but the winter shutdown has pushed the schedule back into the season.

Evelyn, who made $4.45 million last season, sought $6.9 million in arbitration and the Phillies opposed $5.15 million. The midpoint between these two numbers is $6.025 million. Evelyn could end up getting close to that because his new deal contains $300,000 in performance bonus which could raise his salary to $6 million.

“I’m happy with what we were able to negotiate,” said the 28-year-old right-hand man. “The Philly family has boosted conversations over the past week and we’ve taken that well.

“I’m excited. I’m glad we got out of the way.”

If his case had come to a hearing, Evelyn would have been involved remotely. He was curious to try this process.

“I was looking forward to it, but at the end of the day, I have one job and that is to go out and throw baseballs. That’s what I’m here to do. And I’m happy to focus my attention on that.”

Evelyn’s new deal has an interesting wrinkle – a $15 million mutual option for 2023.

Both sides will have to agree to the option in November for it to start.

If the option is not activated, Evelyn will become a free agent and be free to sign with any team, including Velez.

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“From my point of view, the club brought him up, which we didn’t oppose because I made it clear that I wanted to stay here for the long term,” said Evelyn. “I think it’s a step in the right direction to start these conversations. I love playing at Philly. I love the fans at Philly. They hold their players accountable, which I’m really big on.

“We’ll let the year play and see what it can bring us. It’s on the table for us to take it and we’ll re-process that at the end of the year.

“Right now, I’m here to throw baseballs, so free agency isn’t even on my mind. I’m focused on doing shows and giving the team my all. I’m here to be a good person and a good teammate and we’ll see where it gets me.”

Head of Baseball Operations, Dave Dombrowski, was happy to sign Evelyn without the jury’s assistance.

“Anytime you can avoid listening, that’s a good thing,” Dombrowski said. Option 2023 β€œIt is positive for us but even if we do not agree to exercise the option) we have always liked Zack and would like to keep him in the organization.”

Evelyn isn’t the only Velez-started bowler whose contract will need to be addressed in the fall. Aaron Nola has a $16 million option that must be exercised to prevent him from becoming a free agent. Kyle Gibson is set to become a free agent. Ditto for the closest Cory Nebel.

Evelyn has the distinction of being the first trade linked to the rebuilding the Phillies began after the 2014 season. He came to the Phillies in December in a deal that sent Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers. Former General Manager Robin Amaro Jr. did this trade.

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The rebuilding Velez hasn’t made a berth in the post-season, but Evelyn was a solid spinning bit with plenty of upside left if he can stay healthy. He underwent surgery on his right knee last September and so far is healthy in 2022, reaching a 3.65 ERA in seven starts.

Continuing success in 2022 will earn him a good pay day.

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