Mariners: How Would Snell Fit In?
The biggest question beyond that is how does Seattle fit Snell into a rotation that, knock on wood, has been the most reliable in baseball. If the rotation is healthy, you can go a couple of routes. You can have the team roll out a six-man rotation until Kirby is shut down. That’d be a big help to keeping guys like Gilbert, still a young arm, healthy, and your inning-eating workhorse, Robbie Ray, fresh for the postseason. The second option, and an intriguing one, is turning Snell into a long-arm bullpen weapon.
We saw in 2016 what a dominant reliever like Andrew Miller could do. Miller would go three dominant innings in almost every playoff appearance as he carried the Indians nearly to a championship. Snell could be that 6-9 outs destructive reliever to help push the Seattle bullpen over the top. During the regular season, Seattle could begin shaving Kirby’s starts, limiting him to only 4-5 innings, and then having Snell go as long as he can. I’m fine with either option, but the Cy Young bullpen weapon is a rare component that could give playoff teams fits.
At the end of the day, Seattle would be taking on a little less than $5 million dollars to take a chance on getting a high-level arm for this season, and a little less than $9 million for next season. I believe that Mitch Haniger is gone this winter, so why not get some value out of him, and take a shot on Snell. Seattle could then take the prospects saved, and go get a Brandon Drury, or Andrew Benintendi.
It’s a difficult trade to process, and it’s rare to see. This stare-down trade could help the Padres have enough juice to compete against the Dodgers, while the Mariners could revive a Cy Young talent.