The Detroit Tigers and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia have agreed to a minor league deal with an invitation to big league spring training.
Saltalamacchia returns to the Tigers where he played in 92 games in 2016. Last year he only played ten games in the bigs, all with the Blue Jays. Over the course of his career he is a .233/.307/.409 hitter with 110 homers over 11 seasons.
Signing Saltalamacchia is a a depth move and some injury insurance. He showed last year that he’d accept a minor league assignment and played over the winter in Mexico too, so he’s one of the rare veterans who may stick around and report to Triple-A if there is no room for him on the big league roster. Which, given the presence of James McCann and John Hicks, there does not seem to be.
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.