The Red Sox have placed first baseman Steve Pearce on the 10-day injured list with a lower back strain, the team announced Saturday. In a corresponding move, infielder/outfielder Sam Travis was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.
It’s been a disheartening season for the 36-year-old Pearce, who has already spent some time on the injured list after rehabbing a calf strain last month. He lasted just one inning during Friday’s 4-1 loss to the Yankees and exited in the second inning after experiencing back spasms in his first and only at-bat of the night. Through Friday, he’s batting a lackluster .180/.245/.258 with five extra-base hits, nine RBI, and a .503 PA across 99 plate appearances this season.
With fellow first baseman Mitch Moreland also on the mend from a back strain and knee discomfort, the Red Sox will likely turn to some combination of Michael Chavis and Brock Holt at first base. Travis is also expected to see some time there, and may finally see a breakthrough at the plate after carrying a .251/.359/.371 batting line in Triple-A this spring.
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.