Blake Snell Rumors: AL West team emerging as most suitable option for star pitcher, per reports 

Blake Snell
Blake Snell and the San Diego Padres

Just a couple of weeks away from Spring Training, reigning NL Cy Young winner Blake Snell is still looking for potential suitors for the 2024 season. Despite a great season, Snell's free agency has dragged on over time. However, according to USA Today Insiders, Snell is expected to sign with the LA Angels.

Bob Nightengale and Jesse Yomtov are expecting the Angels to make a move if Snell's asking price falls below $200 million:

"The Angels were aggressive early saying how much they want him, and are now just waiting for his price-tag to dip below $200 million to seal the deal, hoping the Giants don’t swoop in," Bob Nightengale said.

Snell came off a historic season, which placed him alongside Gaylord Perry, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens, Roy Halladay and Max Scherzer as the only pitchers to win Cy Young in both leagues. He previously won the Cy Young with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2018 before earning his second with the San Diego Padres.

Yomtov suggested that the Angels have room on their payroll to sign Snell:

"It doesn't feel like there's a perfect fit out there for Snell and the Angels' payroll is projected at about $150 million for 2024, giving the perpetually rudderless organization plenty of room to sign the market's top pitcher," Yomtov said.

Why has Blake Snell's free agency dragged unexpectedly?

After Japanese sensational pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto signed with the LA Dodgers on a 12-year, $325 million deal, Blake Snell was the next best free agent starting pitcher.

According to USA Today, Snell is seeking a contract of around nine years and $270 million, with an average annual value of $30 million.

However, teams haven't exactly lined up for his services, with many feeling the asking price is way too high due to his inconsistent seasons.

From 2020 to 2022, Snell has pitched 50.0, 128.2 and 128.0 innings, posting an ERA of 3.24, 4.20, and 3.38, respectively. He had a stellar outing last season, compiling a 2.25 ERA in 180 innings pitched and registering a .181 BAA and 234 strikeouts.

Moreover, Blake Snell being on the other side of 30, has hurt his free agency since franchises are on the lookout for younger arms. It remains to be seen if his next destination is LA, and if the Angels pair him alongside Mike Trout in Anaheim.

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Edited by Veer Badani