Step 1: Sign LHP Blake Snell (6yr/$150mil)
Blake Snell has been a big topic of discussion here at SoDo Mojo and among all Mariners fans, bloggers and podcasters. As I wrote last week, there may not be a more unique pitching free agent than Snell.
The Seattle native allegedly wants to be a Seattle Mariner, and is going to run away with the 2023 NL Cy Young award. Snell went 14-9 with a league-best 2.25 ERA. He finished 3rd in baseball with 234 K's. He gave up the 5th fewest home runs in baseball this season for qualified starting pitchers. His .181 opponents batting average and 182 ERA+ are easily the best in baseball.
His numbers are staggering, but even his negative numbers are unique. No pitcher came even remotely close to walking as many batters as Blake Snell (99BB's, 83 was #2). What makes this even crazier is the fact that Blake Snell is allergic to going more than 6 innings. Honestly, the only argument people have against Snell taking home his second Cy Young (will be 7th player to ever win the award in both leagues). In 32 total starts, Snell only made it through the 7th inning three times.
I get that people can have reservations about these two areas, but it also speaks to the type of pitcher that he is. His stuff is straight up unhittable, but that also means he's gonna miss the stroke zone frequently. Maybe this is something the coaching staff will want to see if they can help Snell a little bit, or they could just let him do his thing, knowing that with Luis Castillo and George Kirby behind him, the bullpen won't get taxed.
Either way, the addition of Blake Snell puts Seattle's rotation into a league of their own. The Mariners have a history of struggling to sign superstar bats, but we saw they were able to lock in an award-winning pitcher in Robbie Ray. Seattle may never have a two-time Cy Young winner in his prime that also is from Seattle and wants to be a Mariner, in their backyard again. In my offseason plan, we don't waste this opportunity, and we build the best rotation in all of baseball.