ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell has agreed to a new five-year, $50 million contract with the MLB team.

The deal extends the 2018 American League Cy Young Award winner's contract through the 2023 season, which would have been his first year of free agency.

It's the largest contract in MLB history awarded to a pitcher before reaching arbitration.

“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 Principal 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.”

Last season, the left-hander went 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA and 221 strikeouts over 31 starts.

On Thursday, Snell will make his first career opening day start at Tropicana Field. This will be the Washington native's fourth major league season with the team.

Related: Rays' Blake Snell wins AL Cy Young award

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