Starting pitcher Blake Snell entered MLB free agency in November with new hardware to display: his second Cy Young Award. Despite those accolades, the left-hander still hasn’t found a home for 2024 and beyond yet.
His asking price in contract negotiations might have something to do with it.
On November 6, MLB Trade Rumors predicted Snell would land a seven-year, $200 million contract. Bill Maddon of the New York Daily News reported on January 13 that the 31-year-old’s camp is currently asking for nine years and $270 million.
The San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees have both been linked to Snell at different times this winter. San Francisco was even viewed as a favorite for the southpaw as recently as December 14, per Jon Heyman of the New York Post. However, not budging from this asking price forced them to look elsewhere for rotation upgrades.
The Giants agreed to a four-year, $44 million deal with Jordan Hicks on January 12, as reported by ESPN’s Jeff Passan. They also plan on converting him from the bullpen back into the rotation. After the Yankees’ rumored five-year, $150 million offer to Snell was rejected, they agreed to sign Marcus Stroman for two years and $37 million on January 11.
Which Teams Are Currently in on Snell?
Once news of Hicks’ deal with the Giants hit the internet, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale stated the obvious. He said this move from San Francisco all but eliminates them from trying to acquire Snell. With the Giants and Yankees both opting for more cost-effective options, Snell’s perceived market of interested suitors has taken a hit.
But in his very next post on X (formerly Twitter), Nightengale noted on January 12 that there’s still a market for Snell. “While the market has been publicly quiet on Cy Young winner Blake Snell, behind the scenes he still has multiple contending teams who continue to express strong interest,” he said. “The free-agent market should start to pick up with spring training just 5 weeks away.”
The Starting Rotation Market Is Still Crowded
Shōta Imanaga just finished his free agency journey by signing a four-year, $53 million deal with the Chicago Cubs. But in addition to Snell, there’s another left-handed hurler still available at the top of the starting rotation market.
That would be Jordan Montgomery, who is also a Scott Boras client. The expectation for Montgomery for the majority of this winter is that he’ll eventually re-sign with the Texas Rangers. Even with interest from other teams — like the Yankees — going back to Texas is rumored to be his top choice.
Nightengale confirmed this once again in his own January 14 report. So, it seems like he’s destined to return to the team he just won a World Series title with in 2023. However, remaining on the market can’t be helping Snell gain any particular traction with potential suitors.
It’s hard to see a team being willing to go nine years and $270 million to acquire Snell. But then again, all it takes is one team to get a deal done. Boras is no stranger to having a client’s free agency drag into January and even February to get the right contract. We’ll see how long this continues to go.