Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith and Shi Davidi report that the Blue Jays have signed free agent pitcher Tanner Roark. It’s a two-year, $24 million pact, per Jon Heyman.
Roark, 33, pitched for the Reds and Athletics last season, posting an aggregate 4.35 ERA with 158 strikeouts and 51 walks over 165 1/3 innings. He’s a few seasons removed from his career year in 2016, when he finished 10th in NL Cy Young balloting with a 2.83 ERA. The Blue Jays, however, are simply looking for Roark to slot into the rotation and eat some innings.
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.