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Best Available MLB Players on 2023 Trade Block: Blake Snell

Blake Snell

Blake Snell
(Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports)

Best Available MLB Players on 2023 Trade Block: Blake Snell

We’ve already discussed how the Padres are a disappointment and need to sell. Josh Hader is a likely trade candidate, but he isn’t the only lefty the Padres could trade. Blake Snell is back to his ace form, which makes it a perfect time to trade him at the deadline.

The Numbers

Stats as of July 20, 2023: 6-8, 2.67 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 143 SO, 108 IP

Snell looks like his old self from when he won the AL CY Young award in 2018. The only downside to Snell’s season so far has been the walks. He leads the majors in that category, which has prevented him from pitching deep into many of his starts. While he’s walking a lot of batters, he’s also striking a lot of them out. Snell ranks fourth in the majors for strikeouts, trailing Pablo Lopez, Kevin Gausman and Spencer Strider.

In his last six starts, three have them have included 10-plus strikeouts. His most recent start against the Blue Jays Thursday lowered his ERA, but raised his walk percentage. He tossed five innings, allowing five hits, one run and seven walks with four strikeouts. He’s been capable of escaping the jams he creates for himself, but it’s still concerning to see so many free passes given up.

Potential Destinations

Similar to Hader, Snell is a rental. Teams are going to want a discount on the lefty, with hopes that they could potentially lock him up long-term. I mentioned the Phillies as a possible destination for Lucas Giolito, and Snell fits right in with that statement. The Phillies’ rotation includes Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, Taijuan Walker, and Ranger Suarez. All they need is one more quality starter to fill their rotation, so why not do it with an ace?

The Rangers and Orioles will be in the market for pitching, and their playoff droughts will lead them to higher aggression on the market. The Dodgers could always use more pitching since half of it always ends up on the IL. The Astros really want Dylan Cease, but a rental like Snell could be a great backup option for a weakened Astros rotation.

The Verdict

Similar to Giolito, I see the Phillies being the most aggressive on starters. They don’t need to catch up to the Braves, just like they didn’t need to last year when they made it to the World Series. They do need strong and healthy pitching, something they did struggle with last season. Teams need five strong starters to survive in the postseason, and a three-ace rotation of Nola, Wheeler and Snell would push the Phillies over the edge of the Braves and Dodgers.

Either way, the Padres need to take advantage of the market. They don’t need to rebuild, only retool. Get some extra pieces for Hader and Snell that can be taken into the 2024 season. The Padres aren’t strong enough to compete, and keeping everyone will only hurt them.

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