Sorry Nationals Fans But Trading For Blake Snell Is A Bad Idea
By Max Rayman
Tampa Bay has announced that ace Blake Snell is available via trade. He would be a huge boost for every team, but Nationals fans shouldn’t get their hopes up.
After Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash made the egregious decision to pull Blake Snell during Game Six of the World Series when he was absolutely dealing, it was safe to assume this wouldn’t end well. Tampa went on to lose not only the game, but also the series, culminating with Snell now allegedly being available. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com made the announcement that sent the MLB Twitter world spinning.
Snell would obviously be an immense boost to any team’s starting rotation, with the Nationals being no different. In five years in the MLB, Snell is 42-30, with a 3.24 ERA, 648 strikeouts, and a 3.50 FIP. Snell has racked up a few accolades, most an importantly an ERA title. He also won the 2018 AL Cy Young.
A starting rotation of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, Blake Snell, and Joe Ross would be the best in the league. In the NL East where all most every team has a stacked rotation, the Nationals loading up on their greatest strength would go a long way to making it back to the World Series.
There is no questioning that Snell would put the Nationals rotation over the top. However, do not get your hopes up. Washington has the worst farm system in baseball and trading away what little talent the team has left for Blake Snell is not worth it. Tampa has stated in the past that they are looking for “catching, catching, and more catching”.
Unfortunately, the Nationals do not have any top catching prospects that would appeal to Tampa. Instead, Washington could dangle a combination Luis Garcia, Jackson Rutledge, and Cade Cavalli in order to get a deal done. This would set the Nationals even farther back. Washington has plenty of holes all over the roster and mortgaging the farm for another starter is not the right decision. No matter how nasty the starter is. Instead, Washington needs to focus on fixing the offense, mainly finding protection for Juan Soto. While Snell has a very team-friendly contract, it is not a smart decision to allocate all of the resources it would take to get him. At the same time, the $10.5 million owed to Snell for 2021, could instead be used for a player such as Michael Brantley or DJ LeMahieu.
Snell has three years left on a very team-friendly contract. According to Spotrac, the righty is due $40.8 million over the next three years. Snell’s team-friendly deal will allow the Rays to receive even more in return for their ace. Keep in mind, Tampa has a very shrewd front office and usually comes out on top in trades.
Blake Snell is simply a luxury the Nationals simply cannot afford.