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Sign Blake Snell and move from there
It’d be the perfect first step in a championship offseason.
There’s always some reason a free agent didn’t or wouldn’t sign in Seattle. He was always going to go to the East Coast. His agent would give the M’s a meeting. They did try but just didn’t offer quite enough.
I don’t really buy it, in case that wasn’t already clear.
If your organization wants a dude—nay, if they must have a dude—that can be made clear. There’s a reason the game’s top agent negotiates almost exclusively with owners, because an owner can always make the call to go to a level their GM can’t go.
They can make it happen. And it doesn’t take a meeting. It takes ambition and a phone call.
But hey, I know we don’t all agree on this. So, good news: none of the silly narratives matter here.
It’s an open secret that Blake Snell would love to pitch for the team he grew up rooting for. That doesn’t mean the National League Cy Young Award finalist will take some massive discount but, should the Mariners seek to employ him, all the usual excuses won’t be a factor.
The M’s should seize on that.
If there truly have been all these extenuating factors that have kept the organization from landing the pieces that could put them over the top, then this is quite the opportunity to make a move when they’re non-existent.
The most enticing thing with Snell is that signing him wouldn’t be the signature move of the offseason, but instead enable them to take a step towards that—to build momentum and start slowly turning around the wayward barge that has been this franchise since the beginning of September.
You sign Blake Snell and now one of your young starters, the most valuable assets in the game, is a chip to move. Make the league beat an offer for Juan Soto that is headlined by Bryce Miller or Bryan Woo.
That’s gonna be tough.
Plus, you have to love Jerry Dipoto’s track record in dealing with A.J. Preller and the Padres.
The big concern, as always: money.
Adding Snell and Soto would represent at least an additional $60 million in payroll over one of the young guns’ minor league minimum. It’d put, for now, the Opening Day payroll in the neighborhood of $190 million, higher than it’s ever been…but that still would’ve had them only 11th in payroll heading into 2023.
They’ve been there before, and it’s more than fair to expect them to land there consistently—especially during a championship window.
Whether it’s fair or not (it is), that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.
But one of the things I feel I’ve gotten a little better at, when it comes to sensing what an offseason may hold, is picking up the vibes and the tells from the organization and the people around it.
You learn a lot just being around the organization a lot, just talking—even if it isn’t on the record.
That’s why we all love the Extra Innings podcast, where Ryan Divish lets a little more fly than we get in the paper. That’s the beauty of a podcast, it’s a little more casual like that.
When both he and Larry Stone concluded a recent episode by predicting the Mariners would land Snell, that’s not nothing. That comes from somewhere.
The Mariners have a chance here—honestly, more than that. They have an opportunity if they choose to pursue it. It’s an opportunity that could be the first step to a lot more.
Sign Snell now, head to the Winter Meetings with the best offer for Soto on the table and go from there.
Imagine pulling that off, what door might open after those massive moves.
You look then at the prize of the offseason, perhaps the greatest baseball player of all time.
Say you’re Shohei Ohtani and the club with the shortest flight from you and your family‘s home, in a city you know you like, has proven they’re gunning for their first title—and you could be the guy to lead a parade through downtown.
We keep hearing about contact hitting and righty bats and this and that and the other—the Mariners need to add talent.
Add good players and go.
Blake Snell is a good player and there’s no reason the Mariners can’t have him pitching next summer in Seattle with a hell of an offense behind him.