Tony Clark, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, also took notice, and it isn't sitting well with him.
"I'm reminded that our system, particularly under three years has minimums, it does not have maximums," Clark said, according to Eduardo A. Encina of the Tampa Bay Times. "So the idea that Blake is making $15,000 more than he did last year after contributing the way he contributed is wrong. The team could pay him more. The team is choosing not to pay him more. And what he contributed suggests that perhaps the team should have."
Snell, 26, went 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA over 31 starts with the Rays in 2018, earning AL Cy Young honors in the process.
Due to service time rules, Snell is not yet eligible for salary arbitration - and isn't scheduled to hit free agency until 2023 - so the Rays were able to renew his contract at a nominal fee of $573,700 for 2019. It was a $15,500 raise from his 2018 salary, and the left-hander shared his disappointment last Sunday.
It's not a unique situation, however, as Clark pointed out.
"So whether it's Blake or whether it's other players, because it's not a new phenomenon, we simply hope the guys are playing attention to that," the union head said.
Any changes to the process of pre-arbitration contract renewals and service time rules will likely have to wait until the current collective bargaining agreement expires after the 2021 campaign.
Clark has his hands full this offseason, and Snell's dilemma isn't the only one he's keeping tabs on. He was reportedly monitoring the Toronto Blue Jays' handling of top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. amidst concerns of service time manipulation.