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Blake Snell on contract renewal situation with Rays: ‘It’s disappointing.’

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On Friday, the Rays renewed reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell‘s contract for $573,700. Teams typically have the power to simply renew their younger players’ contracts at or near the league minimum salary, which this year is $555,000. In exceptional cases like Snell’s, however, teams bump up that player’s salary a bit more as a reward for performing well and to engender good will going forward. The Cubs, for example, bumped Kris Bryant up to $1.05 million after he won the NL MVP Award in 2016.

Issuing a statement from his agents at Sosnick, Cobbe & Karon, Snell said (via Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times):

The Rays have the right under the collective bargaining agreement to renew me at or near the league-minimum salary. They also have the ability to more adequately compensate me, as other organizations have done with players who have similar achievements to mine. The Rays chose the former. I will have no further comment and look forward to competing with my teammates and field staff in our quest to win the World Series in 2019.

Snell also said on Friday, via Topkin, “It’s disappointing. You want fair. But at the same time they don’t have to do it, so I understand the business side of it.”

Snell made $558,200 last season, so he got a $15,500 raise. The major league minimum salary increased $10,000 from 2018 to ’19, so it is effectively a $5,500 raise. In 2018, the 26-year-old went 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA and a 221/64 K/BB ratio in 180 2/3 innings. His 21 wins led all of baseball while his 1.89 ERA was the best mark in the AL.

Topkin notes that the Rays have a strict structure in place for players not yet eligible for arbitration. By not awarding good faith raises, the Rays will have to pay less as the player goes through his three years of salary arbitration. That being said, it seems like the Rays are already resigning themselves to watching Snell bolt into free agency in four years. If they weren’t, they would have made a good faith gesture to him rather than offend him with frugality.

Ned Yost to retire as Royals manager

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The Kansas City Royals just announced that Ned Yost will retire following the final game of the season. Mike Matheny will take over as the Royals manager for the 2020 season.

Yost, 65, led the Royals to victory in the 2015 World Series and to back-to-back American League pennants in 2014 and 2015. He will retire as the winningest manager in Royals history. In ten years at the helm in Kansas City he is 744-836 with five games remaining. Before he managed the Royals he managed the Milwaukee Brewers for six seasons, compiling a 457-502 record. In all, he is 1,201-1,338. When he’s done on Sunday he will finish 32nd all-time in games managed with 2,544.

The Royals now will look for the man who will, hopefully, see the current rebuild through. Multiple reporters have cited former St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny as Yost’s likely replacement. He currently serves as a special advisor in the club’s player development department. He managed the Cards from 2012-18, winning the NL pennant in 2013 and finishing with a record of 591-474 in St. Louis.

Here is the Royals official statement on Yost’s retirement: