Rays, Snell agree to 5-year, $50M extension
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The Tampa Bay Rays and 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell have agreed to a five-year, $50-million contract extension, the team announced Thursday.

Snell's new deal will begin this season. It covers all three of his arbitration years and one free-agent season, according to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand. It doesn't include any options, sources told ESPN's Jeff Passan.

It's also the largest contract in major-league history given to a pitcher before they reached arbitration.

Snell's contract breakdown

YEAR SALARY**
2019 $1M + $3M signing bonus
2020 $7M
2021 $10.5M
2022 $12.5M
2023 $16M*

*Can increase by up to $2 million based on top-three Cy Young finish
**Figures courtesy of the Tampa Bay Times' Marc Topkin

"Since being drafted in 2011, Blake's talent and hard work have enabled him to establish himself as one of the most dominant pitchers in the game," Rays owner Stuart Sternberg said in a press release. "We're looking forward to seeing him take the mound for the Rays for years to come."

At the beginning of March, Snell said he was disappointed with the Rays' front office after receiving a minimal salary raise of $15,500 for 2019. Before today's extension, he was set to earn $573,700 this season, which is slightly above the league's $555,000 minimum.

Snell said he was surprised when the Rays approached him about the extension, which was finalized over the last three-to-four days, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

"I told them what I wanted and this was the only way it was going to happen and they met my way," Snell said. "... I'm very happy."

Last year, in his third big-league season, the 26-year-old left-hander posted a 21-5 record with a 1.89 ERA (219 ERA+) and a 0.97 WHIP in 180 2/3 innings for the Rays, a team that surprisingly won 90 games.

Snell is set to make his first career Opening Day start when the Rays kick off their regular season at home on March 28 against Justin Verlander and the Houston Astros.

Tampa also signed infielder/outfielder Brandon Lowe to a six-year, $24-million contract extension earlier this week.

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Rays, Snell agree to 5-year, $50M extension
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