Blake Snell’s declining market is the definition of false hope for Red Sox fans

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The Boston Red Sox have had one top-tier free-agent pitcher on their radar all offseason. But there's another that they haven't really considered, at least publicly.

Jordan Montgomery has been the pitcher on a lot of Sox fans' minds. He's got a 24/7 playoff beard and he's the less expensive option of the two, meaning he suits Boston's fancy.

But as the Red Sox play the waiting game, hoping each day that his price will fall somewhere that they like, it also does for every other club interested in him. Little progress has been made on a deal between Boston and Montgomery and it very well may whiff on yet another free-agent target.

If Montgomery is signed by another team, there may still be hope for the Sox to improve their rotation if Blake Snell is still in the market for a 2024 destination.

It's been reported that Snell and his agent Scott Boras — the same agent who represents Montgomery — have been asking for a monster deal, somewhere around nine years and $270 million. But one of Boras' other high-profile free-agent clients just signed for much less time than he was originally seeking.

Cody Bellinger will return to the Cubs this coming season after a long stint in free agency with little movement in his market. He signed a three-year, $80 million deal with opt-outs after each of the first two seasons. Snell and Boras have recently admitted their willingness to accept a similar contract.

It would behoove Snell and Boras to pursue a similar deal after no teams showed any desire to sign the 31-year-old for as long as he's been asking. Snell could still make his money off a deal with a high average annual value and opt out the following season to enter a more fortuitous free agency period.

Blake Snell would accept a Cody Bellinger-style deal, but the Red Sox still won't sign him

But the Red Sox probably aren't the team that's going to give Snell such a deal. Boston has been hesitant to spend even half as much as what Snell and Boras would demand — it's been desperately trying to unload Kenley Jansen's $16 million salary all winter despite sitting firmly under the luxury tax with him on the team.

Red Sox management has been making more indications that it might sign someone recently. Meetings have been held with Boras and Montgomery and a short-term deal with a pitcher could be on the way. But Snell is still more expensive than Montgomery and signing expensive players was never a part of Boston's offseason plan after Yoshinobu Yamamoto signed with the Dodgers.

Despite the possibility of him accepting a shorter contract, any "Snell to Boston" rumors are still just as unlikely as they used to be. He still costs money.

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