MLB insider's speculation between SF Giants and Blake Snell was on point

San Diego Padres v Houston Astros
San Diego Padres v Houston Astros / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

The SF Giants attended a workout for Blake Snell on Friday. They remain active on the market, and on Sunday morning, Bob Nightengale of USA Today speculated that they are "looming as the favorites" to land the two-time Cy Young winner.

MLB insider adds confusion with SF Giants pursuit of two-time Cy Young winner

Of course, Nightengale's speculation turned out to be on point. On Monday night, the Giants reportedly agreed to a two-year, $62 million pact with an opt-out after the first season

Baseball does not have a hard salary cap, but the luxury tax remains a real thing. Nightengale suggested that while Snell would have been a fit for Houston, they were hesitant to commit to the terms needed to get a deal done.

The Astros already have $256.8 million committed against the Competitive Balance Tax (CBT) for 2024. The CBT threshold is set at $237 million for this upcoming season, so Snell's potential $31 million cap hit would push them into a new tax threshold. That gave the organization pause.

On the other hand, the Giants still had some breathing room below the CBT. According to Cot's, the Giants had about $221.7 million committed against the luxury tax before the Snell signing. As things currently stand, the Giants will have a cap hit of about $252 million barring any changes.

Adding a player of Snell's caliber comfortably pushes them over the CBT threshold. The Giants have stated that they would be willing to cross the CBT threshold on a case-by-case basis. Adding one of the better pitchers in baseball would seemingly qualify as one of those cases.

The left-handed hurler is coming off of a stellar 2023 campaign in which he tallied a 2.25 ERA, 3.44 FIP, 1.18 WHIP, 11.7 K/9, and a 2.36 SO/W ratio in 32 outings. He did lead the league with 99 walks and averaged less than six innings per start.

The subpar command and track record as more of a low-volume starter are factors that made teams hesitant to hand out a long-term deal to Snell. However, a shorter-team deal would certainly align with the Giants' risk tolerance when it comes to pitchers. And, it is hard to land in a better spot than the pitcher-friendly confines of Oracle Park.

The addition of Snell gives the Giants one of the best duos in baseball along with Logan Webb. They hope that the returns of Alex Cobb and Robbie Ray can help fortify the rest of that unit.