MLB rumors: Shock Blake Snell suitor emerges that would blow up the offseason

With Blake Snell still available into mid-March, perhaps he might land on a team nobody anticipated.

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

The Blake Snell saga has dragged on long enough to the point where teams that should have no business being involved can actually land the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner.

The Houston Astros made arguably the most surprising signing of the offseason, snagging Josh Hader on a massive five-year deal, and might not be done. This is all thanks to teams for whatever reason refusing to sign Snell.

The Athletic's Chandler Rome opened the door to Houston being the place where Snell might land (subscription required). Unfortunately, the reasoning behind it makes too much sense to ignore.

Astros might attempt to blow up offseason for a second time by signing Blake Snell

At last season's trade deadline, the Astros reportedly attempted to pull off one of the biggest trades in recent history by acquiring Hader and Snell from the San Diego Padres. In hindsight, the Padres likely regret passing that opportunity up as they missed the playoffs and will lose both Hader and Snell.

The Astros clearly are fans of both arms. They got one, and could be in on the other.

“As I’ve said multiple times, we always have our foot on the gas when it comes to winning and acquiring pitching,” general manager Dana Brown said on Thursday night. “As long as Snell is on the market, we check in to ask what is the latest. Nothing new as of now.”

An Astros pursuit of Snell would make sense, especially on a short-term deal. By signing Hader they signaled that they're all in for right now. Adding Snell on short-term money would not impact them potentially extending players like Alex Bregman, Kyle Tucker, and Framber Valdez who are due contracts within the next two offseasons. If he's open to the Cody Bellinger pillow structure, why not?

The Astros are normally a team stockpiled with starting pitching depth, but their rotation looks as weak as it has since their dynasty began. Justin Verlander, Lance McCullers Jr., and Luis Garcia will all begin the year on the IL. Verlander is expected back fairly soon, but he's also 41 years old and with an extensive injury history. McCullers and Garcia shouldn't be considered anything more than wild cards.

Signing Snell would make the Astros clear favorites to come out of the American League. Yes, they'd be better than the defending champion Rangers, and would even be better than the up-and-coming Orioles.

Teams like the Yankees, Angels, and Giants have been in on Snell seemingly all offseason, yet they have not put pen to paper. If they keep playing around, eventually he's going to sign somewhere else. Options will appear out of nowhere, and Houston might just be that team that pounces on the opportunity.

The Astros must be taken seriously. They won't be a team to give Snell the lengthy nine-figure deal he came into the offseason seeking, but if his asking price goes into that Bellinger territory, Houston might strike. If they do, you'll have 29 other GMs to blame.