The last time we saw Blake Snell in a baseball uniform was Game 6 of the World Series and the Hook Heard 'Round the World, when Kevin Cash removed him after 73 pitches even though Snell was dominating the Dodgers. The next time we see him he could be wearing a new jersey if the Tampa Bay Rays follow through on trade rumors for the 2018 Cy Young winner.
The start against the Dodgers showcased why every team might be interested in pursuing Snell: He pitched at the level he reached during his second-half run to the American League Cy Young Award, when he went 9-0 with a 1.09 ERA over his final 10 starts. Snell threw 29 fastballs against the Dodgers and they didn't put a single one in play. He kept them off balance by commanding all three of his off-speed pitches, and of the 35 swings the Dodgers took in the game, they missed 16 of them.
Snell, 28, is under contract for three more seasons, at $11.1 million in 2021, $13.1 million in 2022 and $16.6 million in 2023. It's a bargain if Snell pitches even remotely close to his 2018 level and still a reasonable deal if he pitches like he did the past two seasons, when he posted a 3.96 ERA over 34 starts. The Rays have already lost Charlie Morton to the Braves in free agency, Yonny Chirinos is likely out for the season after Tommy John surgery and Brendan McKay had labrum surgery in August, so with the club's rotation depth in disarray, why would the Rays trade a potential ace who is locked up through 2023?