The Brewers announced on Tuesday that the club and reliever Corey Knebel agreed on a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration. The terms of the contract are not yet known.
Knebel, 28, was projected by MLB Trade Rumors to earn $5.125 million in his second year of arbitration eligibility. The right-hander missed the entire 2019 season recovering from Tommy John surgery. It is unlikely he will be ready for the start of the 2020 regular season.
Knebel had a career year in 2017, pitching in a league-high 76 games while posting a 1.78 ERA with 39 saves, and 126 strikeouts over 76 innings. He followed it up with a solid 2018 campaign, saving 16 games with a 3.58 ERA and 88 strikeouts over 55 1/3 innings.
The Brewers have a ton of work to do this offseason. Getting Knebel back in the first half pitching effectively will be a huge boon to the team.
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.