The Rockies inked first baseman Ryan Howard to a minor league contract on Saturday, per a team announcement. Howard signed a minors deal with the Braves at the start of the 2017 season, but was released by the team in May after an 11-game stint in Triple-A Gwinnett.
The 37-year-old infielder has yet to find a landing place in the big leagues after capping a 13-year run with the Phillies in 2016. His final season in the majors yielded uneven results, pairing an impressive 25 home runs with a less impressive .196/.257/.453 batting line in 362 PA.
While he’s far-removed from the 50+ homer, .300+ average of his peak years in Philadelphia, Howard could still bring some veteran experience and modest power potential to the plate in Colorado. Should he secure a spot on the active roster come September, he figures to slot in behind starting first baseman Mark Reynolds, who’s already mashing .278/.363/.504 with 23 homers and an .867 OPS, and No. 3 infield prospect Ryan McMahon.
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.