PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (AP) — The budget-minded Tampa Bay Rays have renewed the contract of pitcher Blake Snell, who's receiving a raise of only $15,500 after winning the AL Cy Young award last season.
The 26-year-old left-hander, who's not yet eligible for salary arbitration, will earn $573,700 this year after making $558,200 in 2018, when he was a first-time All-Star and went 21-5 with an AL-leading 1.89 ERA over 31 starts.
The Rays announced the decision Sunday, adhering to a rigid club policy for compensating young players not yet eligible for arbitration.
Snell, who led the AL in victories after winning just 11 games combined over the previous two seasons, has accrued 2 years, 72 days years of service -- this year's cutoff was 2 years, 134 days.
The pitcher's agents, Adam Karon and Tripper Johnson of Sosnick, Cobbe & Karon, issued a statement on behalf of Snell, who allowed two or fewer runs in 27 of 31 starts and limited opponents to an .088 batting average with runners in scoring position last season.
"The Rays have the right under the collective-bargaining agreement to renew me at or near the league-minimum salary," Snell said.
"They also have the ability to more adequately compensate me, as other organizations have done with players who have similar achievements to mine. The Rays chose the former," he said. "I will have no further comment and look forward to competing with my teammates and field staff in our quest to win the World Series in 2019."
The major league minimum salary increases from $545,000 to $555,000 this season.