The Tampa Bay Rays this week locked up two of their own signing Brandon Lowe and Blake Snell to long term contracts.
The Rays are following the successful models that the Cleveland Indians and the Houston Astros have followed the last few years by signing the young talent to multi-year contracts before they are even close to being eligible for free agency.
The Rays started that process first, by signing Brandon Lowe to an eight year $49 million dollar contract, and the next day locking up Blake Snell to a five year contract worth $50 million dollars.
In the Case of Lowe, the Rays front office really like him and think he can be a solid contributor for the foreseeable future. The Rays think Lowe can hit 30 home runs every season and they really like the fact that he is very versatile in the field and can play a variety of positions.
Lowe can play first, second, right field, left field and also DH.
The Rays coming off a 90 win season want to keep this core group together as they believe they can be contenders this year and in the years ahead.
Blake Snell coming off his Cy Young award winning season was excited to sign his big contract.
Snell was given a increase in his salary just a week ago by the Rays to $573,700 which is just $20,000 more than the MLB minimum.
Snell was paid a three million bonus when signing the new contract and will earn one million dollars in 2019. Then starting in 2020, Snell‘s salary will skyrocket as he will make seven million dollars in 2020 and 10.5 million in 2021. Snell will then make 12.5 million in 2022 and top out at 16 million in 2023.
This is the largest contract in MLB history ever guaranteed to pitcher between two and three years of service In the big leagues.
It was nice to see the Rays and Stuart Sternberg open up the checkbook to lock up these young players that were instrumental in the Rays success last season and will have a huge impact on the Rays success going forward.
There have also been discussions about locking up shortstop Wily Adames and pitcher Tyler Glasnow, but now that the start of the season is five days away those discussions may get tabled till the end of the season.
As expected third basemen Matt Duffy will open the season on the IR with that lingering hamstring issue. With Duffy out of the lineup, Yandy Diaz, Daniel Robertson, and joey Wendle will all see action at third.