The Miami Marlins today made Martin Prado‘s three-year extension official. We all knew that was happening. They also made another move: they exercised Ichiro Suzuki‘s option for 2017.
Ichiro will cost the Marlins $2 million next year. It will be the third straight year he’s made that much for Miami. In the two seasons to date, he’s hit .257/.314/.323 in 803 plate appearances across 296 games. His 2016 was better than that — .291/.354./,376 — and he picked up his 3,000th major league hit during the season. He did fall off considerably in the second half, however.
Ichiro will turn 43 this month, so there is a very, very good chance that he will not replicate his decent 2016, let alone his strong first half of this year. But at only $2 million, it’s not a risk to keep a well-loved future Hall of Famer on board who, if things break just right, could still give you some decent part time production.
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.