Masahiro Tanaka to make spring debut Thursday

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It had been expected and has now been confirmed: Masahiro Tanaka will make his 2015 Grapefruit League debut this Thursday against the Braves.

Tanaka worked through a successful two-inning simulated outing on Saturday in Yankees camp and figures to go two innings in his first start of the spring.

The right-hander was diagnosed last summer with a partially-torn ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow, but opted for rehab instead of Tommy John reconstructive surgery and the decision has worked out so far. The Yankees badly need it to keep working out.

Tanaka, 26, boasts a 2.77 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and 9.3 K/9 in his first 20 major league starts.

Blake Snell becomes client of Boras Corporation

Blake Snell
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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.