The free agent market for Blake Snell is going nowhere fast.
Snell's asking price likely has something to do with teams' hesitance to sign him. It's been reported the left-hander and his agent have been asking for a nine-year, $270 million contract, per Bill Madden of the New York Daily News.
For a 31-year-old pitcher, nine years is a huge risk for any club. Snell will likely never see that kind of commitment from any team, let alone the Boston Red Sox, who Sports Illustrated has recently linked to the pitcher.
SI erroneously cited a free-agency tracker from The Athletic to link Snell to the Sox — the tracker actually states the Red Sox would be an ideal location for Jordan Montgomery. However, there's been other speculation that Boston is in on Snell. MassLive's Chris Cotillo reported in late December that the Red Sox were in talks with Scott Boras, the agent for both Snell and the other top-of-the-line free agent left on the market, Montgomery.
Before Snell's asking price came out in the New York Daily News, MassLive theorized that Snell may be in on a shorter-term deal with a team "in win-now mode. " After another disappointing start to the offseason with spring training just five weeks away, it would be hard to argue that Boston has even come close to approaching "win-now mode" the past few years.
The Red Sox have not given fans any reason to believe they would pursue Snell to any serious degree this offseason. MLB.com's Mike Lupica said the Red Sox should be "at the head of the line" to sign Snell after their unimpressive performances in the hotly competitive American League East since 2019.
Are the Red Sox seriously interested in Blake Snell?
Boston has recent bad experiences with long-term contracts for veteran starting pitchers. They just passed off Chris Sale to Atlanta after getting the raw end of the deal with Sale's contract. Four years into his long-term deal, it became clear to ownership that Sale wasn't worth the money they were spending for him. Partner this with an overall reluctance to spend anywhere or trade away prospects, and Boston's chances of signing Snell fall to slim to none.
Sure, the Red Sox may have spoken to Snell's agent this offseason. But anyone who's followed the team closely knows that a deal like the one that Snell is asking for doesn't fit into Boston's tight budget. And that a free agent tracker doesn't tell the whole story about a team's interest in a specific player.