With the 2023 offseason approaching, the Pittsburgh Pirates find themselves in familiar territory - looking to add talent to a rebuilding roster. One intriguing name that could make sense is San Diego Padres lefty Blake Snell. The former Cy Young winner is a tantalizing talent, but does a deal make sense for the Pirates?
On one hand, Snell would immediately become the ace of the Pirates rotation. The 30-year-old is coming off a stellar 2023 where he went 14-9 with a 2.25 ERA and 234 strikeouts over 180 innings. The left-hander would provide a much needed power arm to the Pirates staff and take pressure off the team's young pitchers. Additionally, as a lefty he is well-suited for pitcher-friendly PNC Park.
However, Snell will not come cheap. He is still signed through 2023 at $20+ million per season, a hefty price tag for the small market Pirates. Additionally, at 30 years old, Snell may not align with the team's rebuild timeline. If the Pirates are still a few years away from contention, taking on an expensive veteran may not be the wisest investment of resources.
Still, it's hard to argue with Snell's talent and production. The Pirates do need to increase payroll and add talent if they hope to compete in the tough NL Central. Having a lefty ace like Snell leading the staff would be a huge boost. The Pirates should at least explore a deal and get a sense of what it may take to pry Snell away from bigger market teams that will likely pursue him.
In the end, pursuing Snell is probably not realistic for the Pittsburgh Pirates, but that should not be the case.
He would be a huge addition to the team that is in desperate need of a true ace. The Pirates need to continue building from within, but exploring a deal for a big name like Snell would suggest that this team is ready to financially commit to adding missing pieces. While it probably will not happen, Blake Snell checks a lot of boxes of what the Pittsburgh Pirates need this offseason. So the team should absolutely be considering adding this type of talent. No more excuses with the money.