Peter Fairbanks
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Rays acquire Peter Fairbanks from Rangers

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The Rays executed a trade with the Rangers on Saturday, acquiring right-hander Peter Fairbanks in exchange for second baseman/outfielder Nick Solak. In subsequent moves, the Rays assigned Fairbanks to Triple-A Durham and shifted Christian Arroyo to the 60-day injured list, while the Rangers transferred Solak to Triple-A Nashville.

Fairbanks, 25, has gotten off to a rough start in his rookie season. He made just eight appearances for the Rangers, pitching to a 9.35 ERA after giving up 10 runs, seven walks, and four home runs, and striking out 15 of 41 batters across 8 2/3 innings. He’ll get a chance to turn things around with the Rays, who will presumably bring him up again when rosters expand in September. He’s proven significantly more reliable in the minors so far, delivering a collective 4.15 ERA, 2.1 BB/9, and 13.2 SO/9 over 26 frames at the High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A levels in 2019.

Solak, 24, ranked no. 12 among the Rays’ top prospects this year, per MLB Pipeline’s valuation. The infielder/outfielder received high praise for his high contact rate and “selectively aggressive approach” at the plate, but has yet to see results on a major-league level. At the time of the trade, he left Triple-A Durham batting a hearty .266/.353/.485 with 17 home runs and an .838 OPS through 349 plate appearances. He’ll serve as minor league infield/outfield depth for the time being.

Blake Snell becomes client of Boras Corporation

Blake Snell
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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.