Koji Uehara took a line drive off his right wrist while closing out Friday’s win–throwing to first base to get the final out–and the Red Sox announced that he’ll miss the remainder of the season after being diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture.
Uehara finishes the season with 25 saves and a 2.23 ERA in 40 innings, holding opponents to a .188 batting average while posting a 47/9 K/BB ratio. It’s a spectacular performance for any reliever and especially so for a 40-year-old who came into the season with plenty of questions marks attached after he struggled down the stretch in 2014.
Uehara is under contract for $9 million in 2016 and figures to remain the Red Sox’s closer. Junichi Tazawa is expected to take over ninth-inning duties for the final seven weeks of the season after doing excellent work as Uehara’s setup man for years, including a 3.19 ERA and 48/7 K/BB ratio in 48 innings this season.
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.