Let me preface this by saying that Blake Snell is a very good pitcher. I would love to have him as a Seattle Mariner, and it seems that Snell's feelings are similar. However, I think that for the price of Snell, the Mariners would be wise to allocate those funds elsewhere. I think that is a major deterrent for me, but not the only one. I think he will command a contract similar to that of Carlos Rodon from last year when he signed a 6 year and $162 million dollar deal. That is just too rich for me, you would have Robbie Ray, Luis Castillo and Blake Snell making over $70 million combined, when arguably 2 of those 3 would slot behind Kirby and Gilbert.
Now, that contract normally wouldn't deter me from a 30 year old pitcher coming off a 6 win season, throwing 180 innings, with a 2.25 ERA, striking out 11.7 per 9 while most likely winning the NL Cy Young. But if you look at the underlying numbers and his history and I think that Blake Snell would seriously hamper this club. First off, from 2017-2022 (subtracting 2020), he averaged 134 innings per year. There are serious durability questions and for a pitcher that will command $20-$25+ million per year, that is hard to swollow. On top of that, outside of a really good 2018, he was a pretty mid-level pitcher with his highest WAR season coming last year and it was only a 2.1 win season. The icing on the cake here is the amount of walks he surrenders. He led baseball with 99 walks and 5 BB/9.
Blake Snell, deservedly, will win the NL Cy Young, but his fit on the Mariners is an awkward one. He is certainly a good pitcher, but I think that the Mariners would be wise to spend that money on a bat. If your thought process is to sign him and trade a Bryce Miller or Bryan Woo, then I would rather them do that trade, but sign a more traditional 4/5 starter and use the difference in funds there to build the depth of the major league roster, pushing guys like Mike Ford, Sam Haggerty, and Jose Caballero off the roster.