Major League Baseball announced this afternoon that Carlos Carrasco and Josh Donaldson have won the Comeback Player of the Year Awards in the American and National League, respectively.
Usually the Comeback Player of the Year Award goes to someone who had a bad year for some reason and then came back the following year and returned to form. For Carrasco, it was a much quicker comeback — from much more serious a setback — than most winners experience.
Carrasco was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia in early June, missed three months of the 2019 regular season, began his rehab assignment on August 19, and returned to the active Major League roster on September 1, after which he made 11 relief appearances. He capped his year off by winning the Roberto Clemente Award. Not shabby.
Donaldson’s route to the award was a bit more traditional. He was limited to just 52 games in 2018 due to injury but came back in 2019 to hit 37 home runs and 94 RBI with 33 doubles, score 96 runs and draw 100 walks over 155 games for the Braves. He’s now a free agent and, based on his outstanding season, stands poised to sign a multi-year deal with a contender.
The Comeback Player of the Year Award, officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball, is given to one player in each League who has “re-emerged on the field during the season.” The award is voted on by 30 Club beat reporters from MLB.com.
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.