As the MLB trade deadline moves closer, pressure is mounting for the Texas Rangers to make at least one more big move, and a starter like San Diego Padres lefty Blake Snell could be the answer. But what would that look like, and what would that cost the team to make a deal for him? Let's break this down, see how it could unfold and forecast what that would mean for the Rangers.
What Blake Snell would bring to the Texas Rangers
To understand this trade possibility a little better, it might help to see what kind of pitcher Snell is. To see what he's capable of, we do have to go back about five years to the 2018 season. As a member of the Tampa Bay Rays at that time, Snell flat-out dominated. While winning 21 games with a stellar 1.89 ERA in 31 starts, he led the AL in several key stats, including wins, ERA and H/9IP. All this earned him the 2018 American League Cy Young Award in just his third MLB season. In fact, his 21 wins and 1.89 ERA didn't just lead the AL, but all of Major League Baseball in 2018.
As a lefty, his go-to pitch for outs varies by situation. He has a top-of-the rotation four-seamer that averages 95 MPH, as well as a downward-moving curveball, and a solid changeup that drops heavily to induce grounders. He also offers a slider with solid horizontal movement that he's depended on less this season than he has previously. However, his changeup and curve have become more reliable for him as a result. This repertoire has helped Snell strike hitters out at a healthy rate of 11.1 per nine innings for his career. What's interesting to note about that stat is that he'd lead all current pitchers in that category if he had at least 1,000 MLB innings pitched, but he's currently 80 innings short of that mark.
As for this season, don't look so much at his win-loss record. Instead, focus on the fact that he sports a 2.67 ERA and has struck out 143 hitters in just 108 innings. And if that's not enticing enough, check out his 6.6 hits per nine and 0.9 home runs per nine rates. Simply put, those numbers are outstanding and would bring plenty to the rotation for the Rangers. And, the lefty has a contract that expires at the end of this season, which could actually make him a tiny bit more affordable.
Next: What the Padres need