The San Diego Padres are not a poor franchise anymore.
However, with their inflated payroll, they are about to let their ace walk via free agency.
Blake Snell is coming off one of his best seasons in the Major Leagues, and the southpaw will likely win his second Cy Young award this winter.
It could not have come at a better time for Snell, as he is set for free agency and can negotiate with any major league club for his services.
At this point, it would take a major shakeup with the roster for the Padres to afford Snell, who will likely command a deal around $140-190 million. Committing five or six years to another player may not be wise for the Padres at this point.
With $36 million committed to Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove for the 2024 season, the Padres would need to open the pocketbooks in a considerable way to retain Snell, who made $16.6 million for the 2023 season and is likely going to get a decent raise. At some point, the Padres cannot keep spending. They will need to make some difficult choices.
There are reports the team would like to shed $50 million from their payroll in 2023, and Snell’s salary would be a decent chunk of that.
Snell is a great pitcher who came back into his own in 2023. The walk rate was still abysmal, but the left-handed pitcher was able to work his way out of self-inflicted trouble continually. The 2023 season did not start well for Snell, who recorded a 5.48 ERA and was 0-4 in the month of April. Snell made vital adjustments, and the rest is history.
The success in 2023 came from the fact Snell commanded four pitches, and all were above average.
His change-up, in particular, became a real weapon. Often in the last few seasons, Snell would put the pitch in “time out” and not utilize it at all during a start. This season, he used the pitch effectively and often threw it two and three times in a row to a hitter. It left batters confused and helpless for his assortment of pitches.
So, can the Padres re-sign Snell? Sure. Anything is possible.
Is it likely?
At this point, it sadly isn’t. With young pitchers working their way through the system, we could see an influx of pitching prospects making their debuts in the next few seasons at Petco Park. The Padres will need to save money somewhere to pay their lineup of position players. Losing Blake Snell will be tough, but the Padres have the young arms to make the loss less severe.
This offseason will be interesting for several reasons.
What will the team do with Juan Soto? Will they re-sign Josh Hader, who is also a free agent? And then there is Snell, who will likely explore all options this winter to be paid. Scott Boras is his agent- And the man will be paid handsomely. There is no doubt in that.
James was born and raised in America’s Finest City. He is a passionate baseball fan with even more passion towards his hometown Padres. Editor-In-Chief of EastVillageTimes.com. Always striving to bring you the highest quality in San Diego Sports News. Original content, with original ideas, that’s our motto. Enjoy.