Jeff Passan reports that lefty Jake Diekman has signed a two-year deal with his last team, the Oakland Athletics. There is a club option for a third season. He’ll get a guaranteed $7.5 million which, presumably, is for the two years plus the buyout on that option.
Diekman was dealt to Oakland from the Royals at the deadline last season. At the time of the deal he had posted a 4.75 ERA in 48 games. He posted a 4.43 in 28 games after the deal. On the year he struck out 12.2 batter per nine innings, though he tends to walk a lot of guys. Though a lefty who doesn’t often pitch a full inning, he actually faces more righties than lefties and is not that much worse against them, so calling him a lefty specialist is somewhat misleading.
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.