The Red Sox -- as you may have noticed -- desperately need starting pitching. And it just so happens that a very good starting pitcher -- in his prime and under control for the next three seasons -- has recently been made available via trade, according to MLB.com.
The Tampa Bay Rays have signaled that, for the right offer of course, they would consider dealing Blake Snell. Snell, who will soon turn 28, is two years removed from winning the Cy Young Award. This past year, he was 4-2, 3.24 for the A.L. East champion Rays. In six postseason starts, he was 2-2 with a 3.03 ERA, topped by his magnificent outing in Game 6 of the World Series, when he limited the Dodgers to just two hits and a run before being infamously lifted by manager Kevin Cash.
Snell is signed for three more seasons at $39 million -- a more-than-reasonable expenditure for a pitcher of his status.
But these being the Rays, they're always open to moving salary and starting over. So for the right offer, they'd be willing to swap Snell. After all, in the past, the Rays have traded David Price and James Shields as they neared free agency.
Snell, with three more years of control, isn't nearly as close to free agency as Price and Shields were, but the pandemic and resulting economic uncertainty may force the Rays' hand here. Already, the budget-conscious Rays have passed on a $15 million option for Charlie Morton and designated outfielder Hunter Renfroe for assignment in payroll-cutting moves.
And it may be that Snell's value will never be higher. Three years is a lot of control -- for comparison's sake, Chris Sale had three years of control when the Red Sox traded for him in December of 2016.
As a division rival, the Red Sox would likely have to pay an extra premium on a deal for Snell -- the cost of the Rays having to see Snell as many as a half dozen times per season for the next three years.
Given all that, would a trade for Snell make sense for the Red Sox?