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Cubs free agent target: Blake Snell

It’s January 4 and some top free agents are still unsigned.

Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

I’m writing this one at the request of a BCB reader — and forgive me, I can’t remember who asked for this one or even which post the comment appeared under, so I can’t look it up.

I suspect said reader is not going to like my conclusion here, though.

Blake Snell has won two Cy Young Awards — one for the Rays in 2018, a second for the Padres in 2023. That’s really good! Not many pitchers have won more than one.

I want to call your attention, however, to Snell’s numbers in the four seasons in between those two Cys. From 2019-22 Snell posted a 3.85 ERA and 1.257 WHIP. That was good for a 104 ERA+ and an average of about 1.5 bWAR per season.

Translated: Snell is either the best pitcher in the league, or he’s a bit over league average. The Cubs basically already have that guy in Jameson Taillon, whose career ERA+ is... 104, exactly what Snell’s was over those four seasons.

MLB Trade Rumors projected Snell, their No. 4 ranked free agent this offseason, as getting a seven-year, $200 million deal, an AAV of about $28.5 million.

For that money I think I’d rather have Shõto Imanaga or Jordan Montgomery. Incidentally, Imanaga’s posting window ends a week from today, January 11, so I’d expect him to sign somewhere in the next seven days.

As is the case for Montgomery and others among MLBTR’s Top 50 free agents Matt Chapman, Cody Bellinger, J.D. Martinez, Rhys Hoskins and Sean Manaea, Snell is represented by Scott Boras. If it feels like Boras is gumming up free agency, that might actually be true this offseason.

(Incidentally, speaking of Manaea, I don’t want him on the Cubs either. Again, the Cubs already have that guy — Drew Smyly.)

So if you’re interested in seeing the Cubs sign Snell, put forth your own idea. I’m not going to post one because I’d rather see the Cubs pass on him.

Have at it.

Poll

Blake Snell...

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    ... the Cubs should sign him to a deal like the one projected by MLB Trade Rumors
    (94 votes)
  • 26%
    ... the Cubs should sign him to a different deal in years or dollars or both
    (233 votes)
  • 61%
    ... the Cubs should not sign him
    (542 votes)
  • 0%
    Something else (leave in comments)
    (8 votes)
877 votes total Vote Now