Red Sox Rumors: Boston can still take advantage of Blake Snell's cratering market

The market for the two-time Cy Young winner has been slow all offseason.
Sep 19, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) reacts
Sep 19, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) reacts / Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Buster Onley seems to think that the Boston Red Sox have a big move in them this offseason. So do some MLB insiders who keep linking the Sox to high-profile free agents.

Even after Red Sox ownership confirmed that 2024's payroll will likely be less than it was in 2023, Boston remains "loosely connected" to top-tier free-agent pitcher Blake Snell, per's Mark Feinsand.

The Red Sox and a few other teams, including the likes of the Yankees, Mets and Blue Jays, have been linked to Snell this offseason. The Yankees reportedly made the only offer to Snell, likely due to his asking price.

It's been reported by Bill Madden of the New York Daily News that Snell and his agent, Scott Boras, have asked for a nine-year, $270 million contract. That number is absolutely out of Boston's wheelhouse, and it's seemingly too much for every other team as well. The market for Snell has been stagnant since the Yankees made their alleged $150 million offer, which he turned down.

The stalling market for Snell gives Boston an opportunity to put the "full-throttle" offseason Red Sox Nation was promised into full effect. Not without input from Snell and Boras, of course.

If teams continue to have interest in Snell but refuse to meet his price, which the Red Sox could easily do but choose not to, a few possibilities could emerge. Snell could accept a lower salary, or he could opt to take a shorter deal.

If Snell chooses to go for a shorter deal, Boston should swoop in. According to Feinsand, Snell would be seeking a deal worth $30 million per year. John Henry and the Red Sox could easily provide that on a small scale.

If Blake Snell opts for a shorter deal, the Red Sox should jump at the chance to sign him

Signing Snell for a shorter deal would allow Boston to deliver on its promise of competing in the 2024 season, which the franchise is not fulfilling at this juncture despite begging fans to believe that's the case. The Red Sox's starting rotation is far from perfect, and winning any significant number of games with the one they have now will be a challenge, especially with Nick Pivetta and Garrett Whitlock likely taking on full-time starter roles.

Acquiring Snell, or a starting pitcher of his caliber, for the short term gives the Red Sox some insurance while waiting for the prospects the front office has been hyping up to arrive in the big leagues. Boston is fully capable of being competitive while it's waiting for the prospect pool to come of age, and it will allow the front office to build around them much more easily when the time arrives.

If the Red Sox's whiff on Teoscar Hernández should tell the team anything, it's that talented players have no desire to play for uncompetitive teams. It doesn't make sense to throw the next two or three seasons away while Boston waits for unreliable assets to develop. Rather, it makes more sense to field a good team to put the Red Sox name back on the map so that players will want to come to Boston when the Sox need to build around their new, young core.

So if Snell wants a short-term deal, the Red Sox should be the first in line to give it to him. They're fully capable of paying a player of his talent, and bringing in such a skilled player will draw other, equally talented players to the team.

The Red Sox can both win now and set themselves up for the future. They just need to spend money to do it.

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