The latest SF Giants rumor has them connected to 2023 Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell. According to Jon Heyman of the MLB Network, the Giants along with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres are expressing the most interest in Snell. Why does this sound suspicious?
Why the latest SF Giants starting pitcher rumor seems suspicious
Many of you might disregard any rumor coming from Heyman given recent history. It is going to take a long time for Giants fans to have faith in the MLB insider again after the Arson Judge fiasco from last offseason.
Some of you might even stop reading as soon as you see Heyman's name and I totally get that, too. Heyman is well-connected throughout baseball, but his rumors are wrong more often than not. Oftentimes, he is echoing what agents around baseball are saying. And, the agents have an incentive to create a narrative to get their players paid.
So, they will want information to be made public that influences action whether that be for another team to get involved or to get a current team to make a decision. In this sense, I do think the Giants will be connected to Snell this offseason.
The 30-year-old pitcher is coming off of an impressive 2023 campaign in which he posted a 2.25 ERA across 180 innings with the Padres. The Giants are in the market for a frontline starter and he certainly checks that box. On the other side of the coin, Snell has familiarity with new Giants manager Bob Melvin, so they have that in their favor.
At the end of the day, familiarity will not be a make-or-break decision. Snell is represented by Scott Boras, who shrewdly works to get his players paid and he is very good at it. The team that offers the most money will get Snell, but if two offers are equal, he might side with a team where he has a sense of familiarity with Melvin and much of the coaching staff.
The suspicious part in what Heyman said was when he listed the other interested suitors - the Dodgers and Padres. The Dodgers will likely be in the market for frontline starting pitching as both Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin are expected to miss much of 2024 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Plus, Clayton Kershaw, who is a free agent, will miss the first half of next season after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery.
Los Angeles certainly has a need for starting pitching and Snell checks that box. What seems suspicious about Heyman's message was the inclusion of the Padres as an interested suitor. San Diego is planning to shed payroll this winter and could be considering trading a superstar outfielder to achieve that end.
Similarly, the decision to decline Michael Wacha's two-year, $26 million team option further reinforces that point. All signs point to the Padres having a lean winter and if that holds true, it would be a bit odd for them to be in the running to re-sign Snell.
MLB Trade Rumors predicts that his next contract will be in the neighborhood of seven years and $200 million. That is a lot of money and one that a cost-cutting team seemingly cannot afford.
There could definitely be some truth to Heyman's rumor that either the Giants or Dodgers are targeting Snell. However, the full statement has some holes in it, especially as it pertains to the Padres, which is why it is hard to put any weight in the rumor.