Blake Snell Deserves Better
The two-time Cy Young free agent has been getting disrespected all winter, and I'm sick of it.
Three-hundred and twenty-five million dollars. That’s what Japan phenom Yoshinobu Yamamoto reeled in last week from the Dodgers. It’s the largest pitching contract in Major League Baseball history, and he’s never thrown a pitch in The Show.
It’s no secret that no club in MLB is going to match that deal with any starting pitcher left on the market. Not Jordan Montgomery, not Marcus Stroman, and not Blake Snell.
This isn’t a piece predicting where Blake Snell may potentially sign, no, this is me pleading a case as to why Snell is being down-right disrespected throughout this slow-moving winter.
If I told you the reigning, two-time Cy Young award winner, would be a free agent during the same offseason a record-breaking pitcher contract would be dealt, I’d assume said Cy Young winner would be the one getting the bag.
No disrespect to Yoshinobu Yamamoto. He’s only 25 and has an extremely bright future ahead of him. But the Japan native has next to zero experience in Major League Baseball.
So, wouldn’t Snell be a safer option? Experts say no.
“His career 4.16 BB/9, paired with an 11.6 HR/FB won’t suffice.” “His xERA of 3.77 during a Cy Young season was a fluke.” These are what baseball writers have been saying.
Simply ignoring the fact that Snell is one major thing Yamamoto is not. Proven.
Snell, an 8-year veteran, was practically unhittable this past season.
The southpaw posted a 2.25 ERA with an 11.70 K/9 and a 3.44 FIP over 180 innings with the Friars.
A native of Seattle, Washington, Snell only got stronger as the season pushed on, collecting an MLB-best 1.54 ERA during his 82 second-half innings. All while posting a 5.49 BB/9.
I’m not a huge fan of the “walking too many batters” debate toward Snell. If it was such an issue for him, how did he win the Cy Young?
My point is, Snell’s 4.95 BB/9 was the worst of his career this season. His floor. If he can net the most prestigious pitching award in the world during that same season, why worry? If anything, it is a testament to Snell’s mentality on the mound, and how impressive he is at getting out of jams.
Snell has simply earned the ability to walk batters.
What’s most impressive to me about Blake Snell, is how he’s won Cy Young awards 5 seasons apart from one another, in two different leagues. First with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2018, and then with the San Diego Padres in 2023.
Snell joins a list of just 7 pitchers in MLB history to have accomplished that feat.
The other 6? Max Scherzer, Roy Halladay, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, Gaylord Perry, and Pedro Martinez. What a list.
Who’s to say Snell can’t win another one? He’s entering his age 31 season and looks to be in the prime of his career. His career ERA is 3.20, I don’t want to hear about inconsistency.
While at the top of his game, Blake Snell is capable of being one of the best pitchers in the sport. He deserves a long contract and loads of money.
Hey, I’m just comparing him to a market where Yamamoto got $325M!