Boras after Snell trade: Rays are MLB's 'catch-and-release' team
Snell, the 2018 AL Cy Young winner, was dealt to the San Diego Padres in a blockbuster trade on Tuesday. For Boras, one of baseball's most powerful agents, it was dismaying to see the Rays send away another star player, this time on the heels of their run to the World Series.
"This really defines Tampa Bay among MLB fishermen - they are the catch-and-release organization," Boras told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. "To bring home the big fish, the big trophy, you've got to visit the playoffs usually a few times, and guys like Blake Snell help you do that."
Snell's contract may have been a factor for the notoriously cost-conscious club. He's owed $39 million over the next three seasons. The Rays, who also let veteran starter Charlie Morton go in free agency, are likely to field a payroll in the $60-million range next year, according to Topkin.
General manager Erik Neander said Wednesday that trading Snell means Tampa is taking a step back, but he made it clear the team isn't rebuilding.
"By no means is that any sort of white flag on this season," Neander said. "We have a lot of confidence in the group that we have here and we've got a lot of time left to continue to build this club out and to get this puzzle where we want it."
That wasn't good enough for Boras, though, who scoffed at the idea that the Snell deal needed to be made for financial reasons.
"It's disappointing to me that a very competent baseball group moves forward in a way that they only get one shot or so a decade, and they know if they don't win it that decade then that's it, then have to start all over," Boras said. "That's unfortunate, knowing that the franchise is making money, lots of money.
"... What I don't like to see is a fan base that has a 'now' team wake up the next day and say it is now a developmental team."