MLB Trade Grades: Giants Bay Area deal could open door for Blake Snell

The San Francisco Giants have traded Ross Stripling to the Oakland Athletics. Does this open a door for Blake Snell?

Colorado Rockies v San Diego Padres
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The San Francisco Giants have completed a trade with their Bay Area neighbors (for now), as they will send starting pitcher Ross Stripling to the Oakland Athletics. Stripling last made the NL All-Star team in 2018 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and went 0-5 last season with the Giants.

The Giants sent some cash to the Athletics along with Stripling in exchange for Jonah Cox. While not the biggest deal in itself, sending Stripling's $12.5 million salary elsewhere could be the motivating force San Francisco's front office needs to finally address the starting rotation.

Stripling should pitch for Oakland in 2024, barring they don't buy him out entirely. Jonah Cox, who the Giants received in return, was the No. 29-ranked prospect in the A's system per Baseball America. He's an athletic outfielder and a slasher at the plate. However, he doesn't hit with a ton of power. The 22-year-old will likely start his Giants career in the minor leagues.

Oakland A's trade grade: B

San Francisco Giants trade grade: B-

Will A's-Giants trade lead to a Blake Snell move?

Blake Snell was linked to the San Francisco Giants earlier this offseason, but his contract demands exceeded their expectations. Snell reportedly wants more than $200 million, and this is the perfect time for the Giants front office to strike. After the Corbin Burnes trade, the pitching market via free agency is sure to pick up.

While FanSided's Robert Murray only graded the Giants as a 5/10 fit for Snell, he did understand the fit, in theory:

"I would not rule it out, of course, as the Giants need another starting pitcher and having Snell, Logan Webb, Alex Cobb, Kyle Harrison and Robbie Ray in the rotation would give the team one of the highest-upside rotations in baseball when Cobb and Ray return around midseason."

The Giants are likely just dumping salary, but at some point they have to address their rotation depth. Perhaps that won't come in the form of an expensive starter, but it wouldn't hurt to explore the matter a little further.