MAJOR MLB Sensation Sets Baseball World Ablaze!.... - footballivenews
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MAJOR MLB Sensation Sets Baseball World Ablaze!….



Following the signing of the top free agent pitcher, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, by the Dodgers last month, the market for the second-ranked free agent pitcher, Blake Snell, has gained traction. The Red Sox, Phillies, Giants, and Angels have all been linked to Snell recently, and the Yankees have made an offer for the left-handed pitcher. According to details provided by USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, Snell’s camp is seeking “at least $240 million” this winter, but the Yankees’ offer falls “nearly $100 million” below that target.

Subsequent to the initial connections, both the Giants and Yankees have bolstered their rotations, potentially reducing their interest in Snell. The Giants acquired Robbie Ray in a trade with the Mariners and signed Jordan Hicks, while the Yankees added Marcus Stroman to their starting five. Although it remains unclear whether these teams are still in pursuit of Snell, it’s evident that their urgency for starting pitchers has diminished in the past few weeks. Nevertheless, Nightengale suggests that “several” teams are still engaged with Snell’s camp, hoping that his substantial price tag will decrease as the offseason progresses. Notably, the Blue Jays are mentioned as quietly monitoring Snell throughout his free agency.

While Toronto might be an unexpected fit for Snell, considering their focus on fortifying their lineup rather than pursuing pitching in free agency, the team has shown financial prowess with a strong bid for Shohei Ohtani’s services last month. Additionally, the recent acquisitions of Kevin Kiermaier and Isiah Kiner-Falefa make a robust pursuit of Cody Bellinger or Chapman, the best remaining positional free agents, less likely. Pursuing Snell could solidify Toronto’s rotation as one of the best in the league, complementing the reigning NL Cy Young award winner with ace righty Kevin Gausman.

A pursuit of Snell could also provide the Blue Jays with insurance against potential injuries or performance declines, which they lack following the departure of veteran southpaw Hyun-Jin Ryu in November. While Toronto’s rotation appears formidable on paper, regression from key pitchers or continued struggles from certain players could impact their competitiveness in the competitive AL East. Adding Snell to the mix would alleviate pressure on young pitchers like Alek Manoah and provide depth to the rotation.

However, the Blue Jays’ priority is likely adding an impact bat to their offense, and they may prefer to conserve financial resources for a strong free agent class next offseason. Nightengale suggests that the Blue Jays may not be interested in Snell at his current asking price, and even if the price drops, teams with a more immediate need for pitching, such as the Red Sox or Angels, might be more inclined to engage in a bidding war. If the Blue Jays aim to enhance rotation depth without overspending, targeting pitchers like Alex Wood, Jakob Junis, or previously rumored target Yariel Rodriguez, who can transition between the rotation and bullpen, could provide additional options while keeping avenues open for pursuing offensive stars in the future.