Fast-to-Giants numbers: How a $62 million free agency transfer is valued in the MLB

By | March 20, 2024

Fast-to-Giants numbers: How a $62 million transfer in the MLB originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

The reigning NL Cy Young winner has finally found a new home for the 2024 MLB season.

Blake Snell and the Giants agreed to a two-year contract worth $62 million on Monday evening, a source confirmed to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area. The addition gives San Francisco a much-needed arm as Farhan Zaidi and Co. dusting off their hands after an eventful offseason, and Giants fans on social media couldn’t contain their excitement just days before opening day.

The experts were also quick to respond, wasting no time in assessing the Giants’ move. Here’s a look at what MLB voices had to say about San Francisco’s newest addition:

Grade: B+

“Blake Snell for the San Francisco Giants! This wouldn’t have been a surprise in November… or December… or January… or, well, you get the idea. The only surprise here is the timing: March On October 18, just 10 days before the Giants open their season in San Diego against Snell’s former team. Considering where we are in spring training and the time Snell needs to ramp up and prepare for the season, it’s unlikely he’ll pitch in that opening four-game series (maybe the next one – when the Giants top the I-5 to play the Los Angeles Dodgers.)

“It’s certainly not the deal Snell and agent Scott Boras envisioned in November, with Snell winning his second Cy Young Award after a season in which he went 14-9 with a 2.25 ERA, including a 1.20 ERA in his last 23 starts.pitchers with at least 100 innings, only Spencer Strider and Tyler Glasnow had a higher strikeout rate than Snell’s 31.5%, while batters hit just .181 against him.

“Compare Snell’s deal to those other free-agent pitchers coming off Cy Young or near-Cy Young seasons in recent years:

  • Justin Verlander (2022 Cy Young winner): 2 years, $86.6 million

  • Carlos Rodon (sixth in 2022 Cy Young voting): 6 years, $162 million

  • Max Scherzer (third in 2021 Cy Young voting): 3 years, $130 million

  • Robbie Ray (2021 Cy Young winner): 5 years, $115 million

  • Gerrit Cole (2019 Cy Young runner-up): 9 years, $324 million

  • Stephen Strasburg (fifth in 2019 Cy Young voting): 7 years, $245 million

Heck, Aaron Nola, who was coming off a 4.46 ERA in 2023, re-signed with the Phillies in November on a seven-year, $172 million contract. Of course, some of those pitchers had a more consistent track record than Snell, who threw 128 innings each in 2021 and 2022 with a 3.79 ERA. Snell has thrown more than 130 innings only twice in his career — his two Cy Young seasons. Even in 2023, Snell walked 5.0 batters per nine innings — the highest percentage ever for a Cy Young winner and certainly a red flag for team evaluators.

Still, Snell could reasonably have compared himself to Rodon, who hadn’t been the most durable pitcher when the New York Yankees gave him a big deal last season, or Ray, who was something of a fluke in his Cy. Young season with the Toronto Blue Jays before the Seattle Mariners signed him.

And maybe that money was there for Snell earlier in the offseason. There were reports that the Yankees had offered him $150 million. But this late in spring training, teams had drawn the line, even as injuries emerged to the likes of Cole .Kodai Senga and Lucas Giolito The Yankees and Mets are already above the top tax level, meaning Snell’s salary is taxed at a rate of 110%.

“The Giants fell well below the first load level and desperately needed a new starter to go alongside Logan Webb. This is why Snell going to San Francisco always made sense – his new batterymate, Webb, by the way? He was second to Snell in the Cy Young voting. If rookie left-hander Kyle Harrison is ready — there’s no question about swing-and-miss stuff — the Giants could suddenly have one of the best trios in the majors. FanGraphs has added Snell to their roster roster projects and has the Giants with the sixth-best rotation in the majors. (To be fair, it raises a lot of questions: not just Snell’s durability, but Jordan Hicks’ viability as a starter and the return of Alex Cobb to health, along with Ray was ready to return from Tommy John surgery in the second half).

“Ultimately, the Giants’ patience paid off in free agency: first with Matt Chapman and Jorge Soler and now with Snell. Add in their previous deals for Jung Hoo Lee and Hicks and that’s a great offseason. (So ​​much for that. (the theory that players wouldn’t sign with San Francisco.) Of course, Chapman and Snell could both opt out after 2024, but if they do, that means they’ve had good seasons and provided excellent value for a one year contract.

“I’m giving this a B+ just because of the risks with Snell, but I love this deal for the Giants and think it has a good chance of pushing them into the postseason – and a playoff rotation with Webb and Snell could do some damage in October. — David Schoenfield”

Class A

“We can talk all day about what Snell doesn’t bring to the table, the short version being that he lacks reliability.

“Because of the time he spent on the injured list in 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022, he has only topped 30 starts in a season twice in eight years. He is also notoriously not a control artist. He has averaged 4.1 walks per nine innings for his career and is coming off a 2023 season in which he led all pitchers with 99 free passes.

But when push comes to shove, the Giants landed one of the best pitchers in the MLB with just the 98th largest active contract in the league.

“It’s a steal in this regard, and it will be even more of a bargain if Snell has more of what he had to offer in his two Cy Young-winning seasons. He was nearly undefeated in both seasons and finished 2018 with a 1.89 ERA and last year with a 2.25 ERA in addition to 11.7 strikeouts per nine innings and a .579 OPS allowed.

Meanwhile, the peripheral costs of this deal for the Giants aren’t all that bad.

Having already given up a second-round pick in the 2024 draft via the signing of Matt Chapman, they only lose a third-round pick plus $500,000 from their international bonus pool with the Snell deal.

Their luxury tax paychecks are estimated at $256.5 million, or just under the $257 million secondary threshold for penalties.”

Grade B

“The Giants as a team may have the largest margin for error in sports. There’s a lot of uncertainty about what essentially each notable addition of theirs will do in the coming year: how the late start to spring will impact Blake Snell’s readiness and effectiveness. ; what Jung Hoo Lee’s offense will look like this season; whether Matt Chapman can become effective again against high fastballs; how Jorge Soler’s power will be dented in a ballpark extremely unfriendly to right-handed slugging; and whether Jordan Hicks can make a successful conversion to the rotation. That’s without even considering if/how Robbie Ray will return from Tommy John surgery. There’s enough risk that we initially lowered their grade to a C, but the late signing of Snell helps alleviate some of those concerns. Should Farhan Zaidi and If the Crew wins on some of those bets, the Giants could make the playoffs. Otherwise, someone else may have to clean up the mess.”

Grade B

“MLB free agency didn’t go to plan for Blake Snell. Overall, though, it ended up being a pretty good offseason for the Giants.

“In the end, it could have been worse for Snell. At the very least, he’ll get $62 million if he completes his two years with the team while pitching in a huge stadium for a ball club with potential. That’s not a bad deal.” one way or the other.

The possible opt-out after the first year is important. Snell can re-enter free agency next season if he chooses.

So given the details of the deal and the addition of a star pitcher for the Giants, it’s hard to give this contract anything less than a B.”

Grade B

“For the Giants, this made too much sense to pass up. They’re not investing long-term risk in a pitcher with an inconsistent performance record. His Cy Young ability makes the gamble on the 2024 season feel reasonable enough. There is risk.” here for sure, but lots of reward.

They desperately needed help for their pitching staff this offseason and Snell is about the quality addition they could have made. Their rotation now includes the top two vote-getters for the 2023 Cy Young; Logan Webb finished just behind Snell. This offseason they also added Robbie Ray and Jordan Hicks, although they will have to wait for Ray to return from injury.

“From Snell’s perspective, he had to drop to $62 million after reportedly asking the Astros for $66 million. But he gets a hefty $31 million per year with this deal. He was certainly looking for more, but if he has a strong 2024 campaign, he’s ready to get it.

Thus ends another Boras contract saga, with a player essentially hitting the road after a lengthy free agency process. We’ll see how long it takes for Jordan Montgomery to complete his free agency journey.

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