The SF Giants made a surprise trade with the Seattle Mariners on Friday. They sent outfielder Mitch Haniger and pitcher Anthony DeScalafani to the Mariners in exchange for the left-handed pitcher Robbie Ray.
Does the Robbie Ray trade mean the SF Giants are out on Blake Snell?
Most fans seem to believe this is a solid move for the Giants. It frees them of two players who struggled last year while also bringing in a solid pitcher who may be coming off an injury but is a former Cy Young winner.
Yet, the Giants were linked to another left-handed pitcher who is also a former Cy Young winner - Blake Snell. The Giants have been tied to Snell a lot this offseason, but the acquisition of Ray could mean that the Giants will no longer pursue Snell. This tweet from Alex Pavlovic could confirm such thinking.
The Giants seem to be thinking that Ray is a discounted version of Snell. Both are left-handed pitchers with solid strikeout stuff who have both won a Cy Young award in the past. While Snell would cost the Giants possibly $200 million if negotiations get that high, the Giants were able to get Ray for a much lower price than that. Additionally, Ray is only one year older than Snell at the age of 32 so they are similar in that respect as well.
As Pavlovic reported, I do not think the Giants trading for Ray means that they are finished with trying to improve their rotation. There are other starting pitchers out there who they are still probably interested in. This could potentially open the door for Marcus Stroman and Shōta Imanaga, both of whom are not considered a frontline starter but solid nonetheless.
The fact that Ray and Snell have such a similar profile could mean that the Giants do not want to invest a bunch of money into a guy who is already 31 and who does not exactly fit their organizational strategy of pounding the strike zone.
Of course, maybe the Giants will sign Snell tomorrow and make me look silly. But something tells me that this transaction means the Giants will not go hard after Blake Snell in free agency.