Report: Rays open to trading Snell
Cooper Neill / Major League Baseball / Getty

The Tampa Bay Rays have informed teams they're open to trading former AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell this winter, multiple sources told Mark Feinsand of MLB.com.

While the Rays aren't actively shopping Snell, a source close to the left-hander told Feinsand he's already been informed a trade could happen. The 27-year-old would like to stay in Tampa Bay, the source added.

Snell won the Cy Young after a spectacular 2018 season that saw him lead the AL in wins (21) and ERA (1.89), along with a 0.97 WHIP, 2.94 FIP, and 221 strikeouts. The Rays rewarded him with a five-year, $50-million contract that covered his arbitration years but is heavily backloaded. He's scheduled to earn $39 million over the final three seasons of the deal.

Year Salary
2021 $10.5M
2022 $12.5M
2023 $16M

Despite the Rays' recent reliance on their bullpen, Snell has remained the team's ace ever since his Cy Young-winning campaign. He posted a 3.24 ERA and 1.20 WHIP with 63 strikeouts across 11 regular-season starts during 2020. In the playoffs, Snell helped Tampa Bay to its second pennant in franchise history by recording a 3.03 ERA and holding opponents to a .194 average; he also struck out a team-leading 18 batters in the World Series.

However, the Rays' use of Snell in the playoffs caused some controversy. He didn't pitch more than 5 2/3 innings in any of his six starts, and - in a now-infamous gaffe from manager Kevin Cash - was removed from Game 6 of the World Series despite striking out nine batters and flirting with a no-hitter. Snell was visibly upset with the quick hook, and could only watch as the Los Angeles Dodgers immediately scored the series-winning run off reliever Nick Anderson.

The notoriously payroll-conscious Rays have already shed some money this winter by declining options on right-hander Charlie Morton and catcher Mike Zunino and designating outfielder Hunter Renfroe for assignment.

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Report: Rays open to trading Snell
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