Blake Snell had a season to remember in 2023, posting a 2.25 ERA in 32 starts and 180 innings pitched, eventually taking home his second Cy Young Award. Snell got off to a bit of a rough start, but had as dominant of a 23-start stretch to end his season as any starting pitcher has had in a long time, posting a sparkling 1.20 ERA in 135 innings of work.
Despite his dominant campaign, Snell is a pitcher who has received little public interest. While other aces like Sonny Gray and Aaron Nola signed very early this offseason, Snell remains on the board as we approach mid-February.
Part of the reason for that is presumably his asking price. Snell is likely asking for absurd money, and teams are unwilling to spend it on him. Additionally, the southpaw is a pitcher who has his own shortcomings. He's had durability issues throughout his career, making 30+ starts just twice in eight seasons. Additionally, his command can be spotty at times. Snell did win the Cy Young Award in 2023, but also happened to lead the league with 99 walks given up.
Once Snell's price comes down, teams will be interested. Any of these five make sense, but one destination sticks out in particular.
5) The Red Sox are a perfect fit for Blake Snell, but it's still an unlikely match
The Boston Red Sox entered the offseason with one glaring hole. Their starting rotation. Boston once again ranked toward the bottom of the league in starting pitching ERA and fWAR in 2023, and all they've done is swap Chris Sale out for Lucas Giolito.
Giolito should provide more innings than Sale, but the question is, how quality will those innings be? The right-hander has posted an ERA near 5.00 in each of the last two seasons, and after some late-season struggles with the Angels and Guardians, things aren't exactly looking up. While Sale has major durability concerns, his 3.71 xERA in 2023 shows he's still a very solid arm when healthy.
Adding an arm like Snell to slot at the top of Boston's rotation would make the 2024 Red Sox far more interesting. They'd be adding a legitimate ace who, when on top of his game, can go toe to toe with guys like Corbin Burnes and Gerrit Cole.
The Red Sox are a team with a formidable lineup and a solid bullpen, but their rotation will be what holds them back in 2024. Adding Snell won't make them a World Series contender by any means, but it puts them closer to the pack in the AL East and in the AL Wild Card race undoubtedly.
While you'd think a big market team like the Red Sox would be willing to spend on Snell to fill such a gaping hole, the Red Sox have shown no desire to spend big money for years, and that has continued onto this offseason. While Snell would be a perfect fit, Boston's unwillingness to spend makes this match extremely unlikely to ever come to fruition.