Red Sox closer Koji Uehara is out for the rest of the season with a fractured wrist, but manager John Farrell told Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe that Jean Machi, not Junichi Tazawa, will get first crack at ninth-inning duties.
Tazawa has been Uehara’s primary setup man and has a 3.25 ERA in 252 career innings, but Farrell indicated that he’d rather keep him in the same role.
Machi has all of three career saves, was claimed off waivers from the Giants last month, and has allowed four runs in four appearances for the Red Sox, so turning to him as the new closer is … well, let’s just say surprising.
Uehara is signed for $9 million next season, so the job figures to be his again heading into 2016.
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.