Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that the Twins have agreed to a one-year contract with catcher Alex Avila. The deal is worth $4.25 million.
Avila, who will turn 33 before spring training begins, spent the past two seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Now he returns to the AL Central where he previously played for the Tigers and White Sox.
In 2019 Avila only hit .207 but posted an impressive .353 on-base percentage and a 100 OPS+ in 201 plate appearances while backing up Carson Kelly. His 1.4 WAR in 63 games was better than some seasons he had as a starting catcher.
Which is to say, he’s still pretty solid for a backup. Which is what he’ll be In Minnesota as the caddy for Silver Slugger Award-winner Mitch Garver.
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.