Blake Snell would be a major upgrade for the Chicago White Sox.
According to multiple sources, the Rays have told other teams that they are open to trading Blake Snell. This is a huge opportunity for the Chicago White Sox, who are currently in the market for more starting pitching this offseason.
Acquiring Blake Snell would give the White Sox another left-handed Cy Young Award winner. Allowing Snell to pitch alongside Dallas Keuchel and Lucas Giolito would also equip the Sox with perhaps the best 1-2-3 punch in all of baseball
The southpaw has been the ace of the Tampa Bays’ staff since 2018. He made an all-star game appearance in 2018 and also finished ninth in the MVP voting that year. He is also coming off a dominant postseason performance in which he posted a 2.83 ERA.
He appeared unhappy on multiple occasions during the ALCS and World Series when manager Kevin Cash pulled him earlier than he would have liked. The most noteworthy incident was in the World Series when Cash went to the bullpen while Snell was in the midst of dealing a gem in Game 6. A pitcher of that caliber that also has recent postseason experience is hard to ignore if you’re a general manager.
Snell currently has three years and $39 million dollars remaining on his contract, so it would give White Sox general manager, Rick Hahn, long-term control which is something he loves. The Rays are motivated to get Snell off of their payroll after they endured massive financial losses due to the COVID-19 impacted season.
The White Sox on the other hand are looking to contend and have money to spend. Snell’s public display of anger with management could also be a factor in why the Rays would be looking to trade him. However, the Rays dealing their best pitcher is not unprecedented. They pulled off similar moves with David Price and James Shields.
Making a trade might be the easiest way for the White Sox to acquire a premium starting pitcher. The most attractive free agent on the market is Trevor Bauer. The White Sox are going to have to outbid lots of other suitors to acquire his services. Another roadblock to signing free agents is the Tony La Russa DUI embarrassment. It already cost them the opportunity to sign Marcus Stroman who said on Twitter that no amount of money would make him want to play for him.
It is yet to be seen how the hiring will affect other free agents but if Rick Hahn ran out of options, a trade may be his best bet. The White Sox also have a loaded farm system still that they could dangle in front of the Rays in an effort to get a deal done. Micker Adolfo, Jimmy Lambert, Jake Burger, and Gavin Sheets are just a couple of intriguing prospects the White Sox have to offer.
Before White Sox fans get too excited it is important to note that a source close to Snell said that he is committed to Tampa Bay and would love the opportunity to stay with the Rays. The Angels and Mariners are also teams believed to be interested in Snell so the White Sox would have some competition.
Seattle is Snell’s hometown so if he has a say in the matter that would likely be his preferred landing spot. Whoever wants him would have to give up a massive haul to get the deal done. Rick Hahn might be content in filling the starting rotation holes from within the organization. The virtual Winter Meetings are right around the corner so only time will tell.