Blake Snell is taking the best route to get every dollar he can.
The Rays’ 2018 Cy Young Award winner, who recently vowed to sit out the 2020 season if forced to take another pay cut, confirmed to The Athletic that he has become a client of super agent Scott Boras after cutting ties with Apex Baseball.
Snell, 27, signed a five-year, $50 million extension just over a year ago — the largest contract in major league history given to a pitcher before reaching arbitration — and was scheduled to make $7 million this season, before eventually making $16 million in the final year of his deal in 2023. After going 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA in his Cy Young campaign, Snell followed with an unsightly 4.29 ERA and 6-8 mark in 2019, while battling multiple injuries and undergoing arthroscopic elbow surgery.
His desire for a bounceback season won’t come at any cost, though. After making $4 million on his back-loaded deal last season — and a base salary of $558,200 while winning the Cy Young — Snell said it’s “just not worth it” to risk his health during a pandemic if it meant sacrificing more money to owners, who won’t encounter the same threat.
“Y’all gotta understand, man, for me to go, for me to take a pay cut is not happening, because the risk is through the roof, it’s a shorter season, less pay,” Snell said two weeks ago. “I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay? And that’s just the way it is for me. Like, I’m sorry you guys think differently, but the risk is way the hell higher and the amount of money I’m making is way lower, why would I think about doing that? Like you know, I’m just, I’m sorry.”
Boras has been similarly steadfast in his belief that an agreement on prorated salaries based on the number of games this season was struck in March.
“If you alter the foundation, the integrity would be compromised,” Boras said. “And that’s what players would object to.”