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Snell gets his payday, agrees to five-year deal with Rays

Photo by Wayne Masut I The Scrum Sports

Five years, $50 million are the terms, locking in Blake Snell through the 2023 season.

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – The 2018 American League Cy Young winner got his payday today. The Rays and Snell agreed on a five year deal that has him in a Rays uniform through his first year of free agency, 2023. The deal also includes up to $2 million more in incentives. It also becomes the largest contract in major league history for a pitcher before his arbitration years.

“Since being drafted in 2011, Blake’s talent and hard work have enabled him to establish himself as one of the most dominant pitchers in the game,” said Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg. “We’re looking forward to seeing him take the mound for the Rays for years to come.”

Snell, 26, became just the second player in team history to win the Cy Young Award since David Price in 2012. He set clubs records in wins (21) and ERA (1.89) in 2018 as well. No AL pitcher had matched Snell’s combination of wins and ERA since Ron Guidry (25 wins, 1.74 ERA) of the New York Yankees in 1978.

Home cooking

No pitcher in baseball was as dominant in 2018 as Snell on their own turf. The lefty went 10-1 with a 1.27 ERA at Tropicana Field in 14 starts. His home ERA was also the lowest in MLB in a season since 1972.

Snell will get his first Opening Day start this season on March 28th when the Astros come to St. Petersburg.

From Brandon to Blake

Just two days ago, the Rays locked up their #8 prospect, Brandon Lowe, to a six-year deal through the 2024 season with 2025 and 2026 team options. Today, they locked in their Cy Young ace for five. The reason for the two moves was not lost on Snell:

“They understand our youth is really good and they want to lock it down and they’re showing they care. They want to win and they want to win now.”

Snell heads into the new season as the ace of a pitching rotation that will follow with RHP Charlie Morton, RHP Tyler Glasnow, and two “openers.”

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