Joe Blanton resurrected his career as a reliever for the Royals and Pirates last season and now he’s signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the Dodgers, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Blanton spent a decade as a durable back-of-the-rotation starter, but had a brutal 2013 season for the Angels and then didn’t pitch in the majors at all in 2014.
He made it back to the big leagues with the Royals and then joined the Pirates in late July, combining to throw 76 innings with a 2.84 ERA and 79/16 K/BB ratio while being used almost exclusively as a reliever for the first time in his career at age 34.
Blanton looked like a totally different pitcher working out of the bullpen and that’s the role he’ll fill with the Dodgers, who’re taking a relatively inexpensive one-year flier on his 2015 performance being the real deal.
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.