Blake Snell Pitching Simulated Game At Dodger Stadium But Not Making Giants Debut Against Dodgers

An unexpected lengthy free agency process ended last month with Blake Snell signing a two-year, $62 million contract with the San Francisco Giants. Snell’s agreement includes the chance to opt out after the 2024 season, so the two-time Cy Young Award winner is betting on himself and will more than likely hit the open market again this winter.

The timing of Snell’s signing left him with just over one week before Opening Day of the regular season, and thus the left-hander has yet to make his 2024 debut. There was some thought that would come against the Los Angeles Dodgers this week, but Giants manager Bob Melvin ruled out the possibility.

Melvin instead said Snell would pitch in a simulated game at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday and make his Giants debut at home against the Washington Nationals on April 8.

Snell is a quality addition to a Giants rotation that was very solid in 2023, ranking 10th in starter ERA. The reigning National League Cy Young winner, Snell had a 2.25 ERA, 234 strikeouts and threw 180 innings for the San Diego Padres last season.

Although Snell is not facing the Dodgers during their current series, he’s figures to pitch against them at some point during the 2024 season. The left-hander is 2-2 with a 2.59 ERA in 13 career starts against the Dodgers.

MLB teams would not meet Blake Snell’s contract demands

The main reason that it took so long for Snell to sign was that his own perceived value did not match up with what teams were willing to offer him in contract negotiations. A nine-year, $260 million deal was reportedly what Snell was seeking in free agency.

Normally a pitcher of Snell’s caliber coming off of a Cy Young season would be able to get that kind of deal, or at least something close to it, from a team in years past. However, it is part of a recent trend of teams being more frugal in free agency when they are negotiating with a player on the wrong side of 30.

Many other notable free agents this past offseason signed one-year contracts or multi-year deals with player options in an attempt to re-test free agency after 2024.

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