Justin Verlander to throw 80-85 pitches in rehab start, could rejoin Tigers next week

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It’s been a long time coming, but the Tigers have cleared Justin Verlander to begin a minor-league rehab assignment as he comes back from the triceps injury that’s sidelined him since spring training.

Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Verlander will start Sunday at Triple-A and is expected to throw 80-85 pitches. Verlander previously threw a simulated game Tuesday, so his arm strength is nearly built up enough to take on a full workload.

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus indicated that the team will evaluate Verlander’s performance Sunday before determining if he’ll make a second rehab start, which means if things go well he could be back in Detroit’s rotation next week.

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.