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Yandy Díaz homers again, chases Sean Manaea from AL Wild Card game

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Athletics starter Sean Manaea had an abbreviated outing during Wednesday’s American League Wild Card game against the Rays. He was greeted rudely by Yandy Díaz, who hit a leadoff home run to kick things off. Avisaíl García absolutely smoked a Manaea offering for a two-run homer in the second inning, and Díaz drilled another solo homer to right field in the third inning, ending Manaea’s night. It’s 4-0 Rays in the third inning. Yusmeiro Petit is now in the game in relief of Manaea.

Manaea allowed three home runs across his five September starts spanning 29 2/3 innings. He allowed three in two-plus innings tonight. He had never allowed three-plus homers in a game until tonight.

Díaz missed over two months in the second half due to a fractured left foot. He played in the final game of the regular season, going 0-for-3. Apparently that’s all the tune-up he needed to get ready for the postseason.

Díaz, by the way, is the first member of the Rays to have a multi-homer game in the postseason since Desmond Jennings in Game 3 of the 2011 ALDS against the Rangers. It has also been done by Kelly Shoppach (Game 1, 2011 ALDS), Melvin Upton Jr. (Game 4, 2008 ALDS), and Evan Longoria (Game 1, 2008 ALDS).

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.