Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Yankees have claimed first baseman Travis Ishikawa off waivers from the Orioles. Kevin Youkilis (back) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list in a corresponding move to clear a 40-man roster spot.
Ishikawa will meet up with the Yankees on Monday in New York and could see semi-regular action at first base, where Lyle Overbay and his .714 OPS (93 OPS+) have been starting. Ishikawa was batting .316/.413/.525 with seven home runs and 31 RBI in 49 games this season at Triple-A Norfolk before the O’s called him up on June 18. He was designated for assignment on June 29.
Ken Rosenthal and Josh Tolentino of The Athletic report that Rays starter Blake Snell has switched agencies, going from Apex Baseball to Boras Corporation. Snell is currently signed to a five-year, $50 million contract and will be under contract through 2023.
Snell found himself in hot water two weeks ago when he said on his Twitch stream that he wouldn’t risk his life to play baseball during a pandemic while receiving significantly reduced pay. Some described Snell as tone deaf for saying, “I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay?”
Boras represents many of baseball’s highest-paid players, including Gerrit Cole and Bryce Harper. Snell is not likely to win over any of the people he recently irritated by appearing to go after more money by hiring the highest-profile agent. What often goes unsaid is that players have a very limited window in which to use their elite athletic skills to make money.
Snell won the 2018 AL Cy Young Award, going 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA and a 221/64 K/BB ratio over 180 2/3 innings. He did not have nearly the same success last year, going 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA and a 147/40 K/BB ratio in 107 innings.