Alex Rodriguez, not in Friday’s starting lineup against the Red Sox, still managed to make history. He pinch-hit for DH Garrett Jones in the eighth inning, facing reliever Junichi Tazawa. He got ahead in the count 3-0, then slugged a 94 MPH fastball out to left field for career home run number 660, putting the Yankees up 3-2.
In achieving the milestone, Rodriguez is due the first of five potential $6 million milestone awards as part of a marketing agreement in his 10-year, $275 million contract with the Yankees. The Yankees, however, plan to take legal action to avoid paying out the $6 million. Their claim is that Rodriguez’s involvement in the Biogenesis scandal has made his milestones unmarketable.
Rodriguez, 39, now has six home runs, 14 RBI, and a .243/.376/.557 triple-slash line in 85 plate appearances this season, mostly serving as the DH for the Yankees.
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.