SF Giants Predicted to Make 2 More Huge Splashes in Free Agency

blake snell

Getty The Giants have been busy this offseason. Is Blake Snell the next move? Top exec Farhan Zaidi dropped hints over the weekend.

The San Francisco Giants have already benefitted from this winter’s slow free-agent market. It led to them signing slugger Jorge Soler to a three-year deal. Could it also result in them landing outfielder/first baseman Cody Bellinger and starting pitcher Blake Snell?

As the wait continues for the top remaining free agents to sign, Bleacher Report’s Kerry Miller played matchmaker on February 18. He predicted both Bellinger and Snell to sign with the Giants.

This isn’t the first time either player has been connected to San Francisco this winter. The Bellinger-Giants link was stronger before outfielder Jung Hoo Lee signed a six-year, $113 million deal with the club. That hasn’t totally ruled them out as a landing spot, though. As far back as December 27, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser said the Giants appeared to have “decent interest” in Bellinger, even after signing Lee.

As for Snell, he’s seemed like an obvious fit for most of the offseason, especially after the Giants officially whiffed on their attempt to land Japanese hurler Yoshinobu Yamamoto. The one thing that’s kept San Francisco — and all other MLB teams — away from Snell is his asking price, which has been as high as nine years and $270 million.

Where Does Bellinger Fit in With the Giants?

According to FanGraphs’ Roster Resource, the Giants’ outfield mix is quite crowded. The projected starters include Lee, Michael Conforto and Mike Yastrzemski. Soler is penciled in as the designated hitter, but he could also play the outfield. Meanwhile, Otto Lopez and Austin Slater are both on the bench.

That leaves first base as an option. LaMonte Wade Jr. is currently the starter at that position. Across a career-high 519 plate appearances, Wade posted a .790 OPS with 17 home runs and 45 RBI in 2023. While that’s serviceable, Roster Resource is also penciling him in as San Francisco’s number-three hitter.

Subbing him out for Bellinger would be a huge upgrade. In 556 plate appearances for the Chicago Cubs in 2023, he hit .307/.356/.525. This triple slash was accompanied by 26 homers, 29 doubles, 2o steals, 97 RBI and 95 runs scored.

How Snell Could Give San Francisco’s Rotation and Lineup a Boost

Despite missing out on Yamamoto, the Giants have made some rotation additions this winter. It’s included signing Jordan Hicks via free agency and trading for Robbie Ray. Both of these acquisitions don’t come without questions or concerns, though.

Hicks has started just eight big-league games during his career, per Baseball Reference. He’ll be transitioning from the bullpen back to the rotation this spring. Meanwhile, Ray probably won’t be back until at least the summer as he finishes rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.

Snell would bring some certainty upon getting paired with staff ace Logan Webb. The southpaw has started at least 23 games in a season six times. His 32 starts in 2023 were a career-high mark, as well. That resulted in 180 innings pitched to go along with a 14-9 record, 2.25 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 234 strikeouts en route to winning his second Cy Young Award.

Bringing Snell to the Bay would also boost the lineup simply because the Giants wouldn’t have to face him anymore. In nine career starts against San Francisco (50.1 innings), the lefty owns a 5-1 record with a 1.61 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 72 strikeouts.

The Giants’ pursuits of Yamamoto and Shohei Ohtani this winter show they have plenty of money to spend. If Snell and/or Bellinger lower their asking price at all, it wouldn’t be surprising to see San Francisco make a significant effort to sign them.

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