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Tampa Bay Rays sign Blake Snell to five year, $50 million deal

The reigning AL Cy Young winner’s contract begins in 2019, and covers one year of free agency.

Tampa Bay Rays Photo Day Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Rays have reportedly reached a contract extension with the reigning American League Cy Young, Blake Snell.

Per a report from Marc Topkin, the Rays and Blake Snell have agreed to a five year contract extension that will pay Snell $50M over the life of the deal. Jeff Passan reports that there are no options involved in the contract.

Snell was taken 52nd overall in the Rays infamous 2011 draft and at one time was one of the top prospects in all of baseball, peaking at 12th overall by Baseball America following a breakout 2015 campaign.

He’d make his MLB debut during the 2016 season and struggled mightily with his command, but displayed tremendous promise. He would be up and down with the Rays, until he finally made a mechanic change in July of 2017 and this led to him becoming one of the top pitchers in all of baseball.

Snell’s dominance continued in 2018, as he finished the year with a record of 21-5, a 1.89 ERA / 2.95 FIP over the course of 180 23 innings pitched, resulting him being awarded the American League Cy Young award.

Snell would have been arbitration eligible for the first time in 2020. His deal will include $2 million in incentives, and no options. The extension will give the Rays one more year of control on Snell, but also buys out all of his arbitration years, as well as his age-30 season.

Marc Topkin had previously reported that the two sides have been engaged in extension talks dating back to the 2017 season. Earlier this off-season, we suggested a 5 year, $46.5 million deal would be fair for Snell. That article included extension ideas for Willy Adames, Brent Honeywell Jr, and Tommy Pham as well.

The Blake Snell extension news come right off the heels of Brandon Lowe signing a six year, $24M contract, which could max out at eight years, $49 million.