The Tampa Bay Rays have made it known that they are open to trading ace starter Blake Snell this offseason. At 27 years old and a former Cy Young Award Winner, it is easy to see why Snell is an intriguing option for many teams.
Fans most recently remember Blake Snell from Game Six of this year’s World Series. As the starter in that game, he was absolutely dealing, but his manager Kevin Cash elected to remove him from the game prior to facing the opposing team’s lineup for a third time. With that drama recently occurring, it certainly makes one wonder if Snell did indeed ask for a trade.
Per reports, the Rays are contemplating moving Blake Snell due to financial losses suffered during the 2020 season. The Rays are near the bottom in payroll to begin with, so this idea may seem a bit suspicious, but every team is going to claim the same. Regardless, Snell is set to make $10.5MM in 2021, $12.5MM in 2022, and $16MM in 2023.
The idea of a Snell-Brandon Woodruff-Corbin Burnes trio atop the rotation is enough to make any Brewers fan salivate.
Do the Milwaukee Brewers have enough to offer to acquire a player like Blake Snell and could they afford to take on his contract?
Those are two major questions to consider when entertaining the idea of trading for Snell.
The Milwaukee Brewers are ever so slowly rebuilding their farm system with higher level prospects, so odds are they would have to part ways with some top end guys in this trade. Depending upon which other players are included in the deal, the Brewers likely have to give up pitching prospects to combat the fact we would be trying to acquire one of the Rays’ best pitchers.
Whether or not pitching prospects refers to guys on the Brewers top 30 list such as Ethan Small, Aaron Ashby, Antoine Kelly, Zack Brown, or others is unknown. The Brewers could also look to sell high on guys who showed promise in a short 2020 season in players such as Drew Rasmussen or Justin Topa.
Another thing to consider is the fact that the Brewers will have to take on the remainder of Blake Snell’s contract. In a trade, it certainly would be nice to trade off a player with a higher salary to help off-set this if you will.
The first player that comes to my mind is Avisail Garcia, but given the fact the Tampa Bay Rays failed to re-sign him last offseason due to his increased price demand, that certainly makes that scenario feel less likely. However, the Rays recently designated Hunter Renfroe for assignment, and Garcia is familiar with the club, so maybe the Rays do indeed feel comfortable in Garcia returning to the ball club.
Another established big leaguer that could be an option would be Josh Hader. Hader is due to earn less than Snell in 2021 and is a relief ace. However, even if Hader were to headline, the Brewers would have to throw in more value from their end to make it worth it for the Rays.
All-in-all, it seems unlikely that the Milwaukee Brewers can get all the chips to land in their favor when competing against the rest of the league in trading for Blake Snell. To trade for Snell, the Brewers likely have to weaken their farm system and take on his contract. Neither of those sounds like a good idea.
Also going against the odds of this trade occurring is the fact that David Stearns is very conservative when it comes to targeting starting pitchers. Trading for Blake Snell does not scream “That’s a Stearns Move!”. So while the idea is fun in theory, Blake Snell and the Milwaukee Brewers likely are just not a good match.