Blake Snell Projected as Giants’ Go-To Trade Chip in Looming ‘Fire Sale’

Blake Snell

Getty San Francisco Giants starter Blake Snell has been predicted as a trade chip should the team embrace a fire sale at the deadline

Despite an aggressive offseason of acquisitions, the San Francisco Giants are sitting toward the bottom of the National League West division.

Perhaps none of those acquisitions has been quite as disappointing as Blake Snell, the reigning Cy Young Award winner who signed a two-year, $62 million deal with the Giants that included a player opt out after this season. In just three starts since then, Snell has an 11.57 ERA and just 12 strikeouts and he’s been on the injured list since late April.

The discouraging early returns on his deal with the Giants might make him the primary focus at the trade deadline, as Kerry Miller projected for Bleacher Report.

“Snell should be back in a week or two, but it might not be enough to save the Giants from embracing a fire sale,” Miller wrote. “The main draw would be Snell, so hopefully you don’t get too sick of those daily ‘Latest Rumors on Snell’ updates from this past offseason. There might be a bunch more in July.”

Blake Snell Could Be the Giants’ First Blockbuster Trade at the Deadline

Snell was among the most prominent free agents in all of MLB last season and he sought a significant long-term deal that never materialized. Instead, he opted for the Giants’ offer, which had a relatively high average annual value (AAV) and gave him an opportunity to prove his value this season, then opt out and find the long-term deal he had been looking for.

So far, that bet does not seem to be paying off for Snell or the Giants and the structure of his deal could make a deadline deal challenging to pull off.

“Snell’s $38.5 million player option for next season may make it tough for the Giants and a prospective trade partner to find common ground,” Miller reported. “It’s not an impossible hurdle, as we saw the New York Mets deal Max Scherzer and his $43.3 million player option last summer. However, a big part of that trade crossing the finish line was getting Scherzer to exercise his option in advance. Don’t bank on Snell agreeing to do that.”

Despite his struggles so far, though, teams looking for some rotation help as they approach the playoffs could come calling on Snell. In nine big-league seasons, he’s maintained a 3.30 ERA with 71 career wins. Last year, he was MLB’s ERA leader and won a Cy Young Award in 2018 as well.

The San Francisco Giants Have Several Trade Chips Should They Opt for a Fire Sale

Snell might be the main draw in a potential Giants deadline fire sale, but he wouldn’t be the only player on the trading block. The team has a slew of players who are poised to hit free agency, and they might opt to net some return value for them before that happens. Several other players on the roster have the option of becoming free agents as well.

“Michael Conforto, Alex Cobb, Austin Slater and Nick Ahmed are set to become unrestricted free agents after this season, while Snell, Matt Chapman, Robbie Ray and Wilmer Flores all have player options for 2025,” Miller added. “That octet could collectively fetch quite the haul of prospects.”

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