The opportunity and cost of bringing Snell home
Now that you know more about the player, let's talk turkey. What are the implications of signing the soon-to-be Cy Young winner? Spotrac projects Blake Snell to sign a 5-year deal for around $23.4 million in average annual value. That seems very reasonable if not a little shy of what I think he'll get. There are rumors flying all over the place that Snell is interested in coming home, but I don't think it's realistic to expect a major hometown discount, if we get close, he's probably wearing teal.
Projected contract signing: 6 years/$144 million ($24 AAV)
With Seattle adding a third pitcher making over $20 AAV, I'm not naive enough to think Seattle will also spend big on a free-agent bat. That doesn't mean the Mariners can't use Snell to get an impact bat. It's been years to almost a decade since the likes of Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz signed in Seattle, and they've come up empty every year since. Whether it's finance, leadership, the Pacific Northwest outpost, or the marine layer, the Mariners have not been able to bring a star bat, or even a moderately impactful bat to Seattle. Maybe it's time for Dipoto to pivot, sign star pitchers like Blake Snell, and then go trade for the star bats that you so covet.
With Snell added, the Mariners boast not just the best rotation in the American League, but arguably the deepest. This opens the door to potentially trading one of the talented young pitchers, specifically one of Bryce Miller or Bryan Woo. While it would be painful to lose one of those talented pitchers, the opportunity to trade from a massive strength to help add real help to the offense could create a massive one-two punch to win this offseason.
While I'd love a massive free agent bat, I strongly feel that Seattle could get closer to a World Series with the signing of an ace like Blake and the acquisition of a franchise-changing hitter. Could you imagine the vibes in Seattle if the Mariners bring home Blake Snell and trade for a star like Randy Arozarena?
Snell wants Seattle, the fans want Seattle. What are we doing here?
Bring him home!