PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Blake Snell, the 2018 American League Cy Young Award winner, had his contract renewed by the Rays.
Snell, 26, will make $573,700 in 2019, a $15,500 increase from his '18 salary.
After going 11-15 in his first two seasons, Snell led the American League with 21 wins and a 1.89 ERA last season to earn the Cy Young Award.
He will be eligible for arbitration before the 2020 season.
The Rays also renewed the contracts of reliever Ryne Stanek and infielder Joey Wendle and agreed to terms with all the remaining players on the 40-man roster not eligible for arbitration.
“Until about a week ago it was something I really didn’t have a ton of knowledge about,” Wendle said. “I just sat down with my representation and felt like it was the best move at this time. It’s not something I want to think too much about or focus on at this point.”
Signs of power
The Rays hit six home runs against the Red Sox on Sunday with two coming from outfielder Guillermo Heredia. But the most impressive shot of the day was from Avisail Garcia, who launched a ball into left field off Hector Velazquez in the fifth inning that left no doubt.
It was the type of swing that Garcia showed he was capable of during his All-Star season in 2017 with the Chicago White Sox and it had the Rays clubhouse buzzing.
“I saw [the Red Sox] left fielder didn’t seem to react too quickly to it because that one was really far,” Joey Wendle, who also had a home run Sunday, said. “I don’t know what TrackMan or whatever had that thing at, but that was fun to be on deck for.”
Garcia said he feels good after a tough offseason of rehab after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee during the offseason.
“It’s pretty special, I’ve been feeling great, working really hard, my knee is healthy and that’s the most important thing,” Garcia said. “How I feel right now is amazing and I just thank God for that.”
Rays catcher Anthony Bemboom left Sunday’s game after taking a pitch from Diego Castillo on his right hand in the seventh inning.
“It got him good,” Cash said. “98 mph sinker ... so I’m sure he’ll probably get some x-rays. Hopefully there’s no ligament damage or anything like that but he was…in pain.”
Limited optimism on Duffy
The possibility of Matt Duffy starting the season on the injured list increases daily as the third baseman deals with a nagging left hamstring. Manager Kevin Cash said that there was no new injury update on Duffy after he was scratched from a spring start Saturday.
“He’s going to be out for a little bit,” Cash said. “A few more days.”
Duffy has only played in a one game during the Grapefruit League. He missed all of the 2017 season with an Achilles injury, but played in 132 games last season with a slash line of .294/.361/.366.
Pham still nursing shoulder
Outfielder Tommy Pham was scratched from Sunday’s lineup with shoulder soreness.
“Yeah, it’s not bouncing back, maybe like he wanted it to,” Cash said.
Cash said he expects Pham to return to the lineup on Tuesday when the Rays play the Blue Jays in Dunedin. However, Pham might not play in the outfield again until next weekend.
“I think the plan is for him to do two days of nothing and then DH in Toronto,” Cash said.
More cuts made
The Rays optioned right-hander Jake Faria to the Minor Leagues on Sunday as one of eight players that were sent down or reassigned to Minor League camps.
Faria made four appearances in spring games, going two innings against the Twins in his last start on Friday.
After an injury-riddled 2018 season where he admitted he was out of shape, Faria came into camp hoping he could find a spot in the rotation or as a regular long reliever.
“It’s time for him to get on a routine and it’s not the easiest thing to do the routine here, get him stretch out,” Cash said. “The message was very similar to the message when he came in … how highly we think of him, what he’s capable of and we want to do everything we can to assist in getting him back to that 2017 form. It’s going to take some time, but he did show really well for us in spring training. That was encouraging.”
The Rays also optioned RHP Andrew Moore, C Nick Ciuffo and INF/OF Andrew Velazquez to the minor leagues and reassigned RHP Tyler Cloyd, RHP Ian Gardeck, infielder Nick Solak, and infielder Jake Cronenworth to minor league camp.
The moves reduced the Rays spring roster to 49 players.
Snell will be on the mound making his second start in the Grapefruit League and his third start overall when the Rays play the Phillies in Clearwater on Monday at 1:05 pm ET. The left-hander started against the University of South Florida on Tuesday, and gave up two runs on two hits in two-thirds of an inning. Right-handers Yonny Chirinos and Wilmer Font and left-hander Jalen Beeks are also expected to pitch for the Rays.