Could the Red Sox target Blake Snell if the Padres sell at the deadline?

The Red Sox need at least one starting pitcher. If the Padres decide to sell at the deadline, they could have the pitcher that Boston needs.
Jul 8, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throws a
Jul 8, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throws a / Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
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It is hardly a secret that the Boston Red Sox are in need of some starting pitching at the trade deadline assuming that they decide to be buyers. In fact, on this very site we have looked at some starting pitchers Boston should target and avoid this year.

However, one team that could change the entire complexion of the trade deadline this year is the San Diego Padres. They have talked a big game lately that they think they can put together a run at a playoff spot, but their record may force San Diego to strong consider selling at the deadline instead.

If that were to happen, the Padres have one of the best starting pitchers that could be made available at the deadline in Blake Snell. Boston needs to be involved if that comes to pass.

Blake Snell would be the perfect fit for the Red Sox

Snell would be an amazing choice for the Red Sox if he is actually available. First, he has been awesome this season with a 2.71 ERA, one of the best strikeout rates of his career (12.15 K/9), and 2.3 fWAR through 19 starts this season. You will struggle to find a starting pitcher that is actually available at the deadline that has performed better this season than Snell.

The other nice thing about Snell is that he is a true rental. He is owed real money this season at $16 million, but this year is the last year of the five year deal he signed back during his days with the Rays. Being a pending free agent should put a pretty firm cap on how much Snell should cost to acquire in a trade even as good as Snell has been.

A note of caution though: Snell does not come without some risk. He has dealt with adductor tightness the last couple of years that cost him playing time and has had issues with his elbow and toe in the past as well. Pitchers are always going to be a bit riskier when it comes to injuries, but Snell could be at the higher end of that risk threshold.

The Padres could end up deciding to selling at the deadline

The trick here, of course, is getting the Padres to actually sell at the trade deadline. Snell should be at the top of the list of players that San Diego should move in the event of a sale given that he is a pending free agent, but the Padres are very committed to succeeding in 2023 with all of the moves they have made along with a payroll that is north of $251 million.

That said, it just seems like the Padres have run out of time to compete in 2023 ($). They are in fourth place in the National League West behind the Dodgers, Giants, and Diamondbacks who all show few signs of slowing down and who all are likely to be aggressive buyers at the trade deadline.

The Padres may not love the idea of selling this year given how high their expectations were, but they may not have much of a choice other than hoping for a miracle. If that happens, it could be a huge boon for the Red Sox assuming they can put together a package and actually close a deal for Snell.

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