In recent weeks, several MLB insiders have suggested that the SF Giants will pivot to Blake Snell after Yoshinobu Yamamoto signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Robert Murray of FanSided has joined that group, believing that the Giants are a good landing spot for Snell as well as someone like Marcus Stroman.
MLB insider believes SF Giants will pivot to a pair of veteran pitchers
In his latest Baseball Insiders podcast with Adam Weinrib, Murray believes that Snell, "makes so much sense for the Giants." Interestingly, he poured some cold water on the Los Angeles Angels' interest in the two-time Cy Young winner, saying that he does not believe that the Angels will offer seven years for Snell.
That would leave the Giants and the New York Yankees both shopping at the top of the remaining market for starting pitchers. Snell is one name on the latest as well as Jordan Montgomery and star NPB hurler Shōta Imanaga.
It feels like there is a good chance that the Giants land at least one of these starters and we explained why they might have an edge in pursuing Snell. It comes down to market size. For example, Yamamoto had plenty of interested suitors. It was eventually filted down to the big-market clubs but half of the league checked in on him once he was posted. Snell's perceived market is not expected to be as extensive. This could benefit the Giants because they are in the market for a frontline starter and they have been looking for some more star power in recent offseasons.
Of course, Snell would check that box as he is coming off of an excellent 2023 campaign in which he posted a 2.25 ERA, 3.44 FIP, 1.18 WHIP, 11.7 K/9, and a 2.36 SO/W ratio in 32 starts while taking home NL Cy Young honors.
He has some wrinkles in his profile, including age (31), below-average command, limited track record for pitching deep into games, and draft pick compensation. He rejected a qualifying offer from the San Diego Padres earlier this offseason, so the Giants would lose a second-round pick and $500,000 in international bonus pool money by signing the eight-year veteran.
For an organization that strongly emphasizes strike throwing, Snell is very much against the grain in that regard. The lefty pitcher led baseball with 99 walks last year and that has been part of his profile for much of his career. The ability to tally high strikeout totals mitigates some of the risk with walking so many batters.
That said, Snell is a sensible fit for a team like the Giants who want a frontline starter and someone who can help them sell tickets. On the other hand, Marcus Stroman feels like a solid fit as well so long as he is paired with a frontline starter like Snell. In that scenario, the Giants would have one of the better rotations in the National League with Snell, Stroman, Logan Webb, Alex Cobb, and Kyle Harrison. With Yamamoto off of the market, the pitching market now shifts to Snell.