It sure seems like Blake Snell wants to pitch for the Mariners

Nov 27, 2023, 3:23 PM

Seattle Mariners Blake Snell San Diego Padres...

Blake Snell of the San Diego Padres during a game against the Colorado Rockies on Sept. 19, 2023. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

(Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Seattle area native Blake Snell just won his second Cy Young Award, is currently a free agent, and is seemingly very eager to play for his hometown team, the Seattle Mariners.

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That last part kept coming up during a big sports weekend in Seattle, as Snell was a high-profile attendee at both the Seahawks’ Thanksgiving night game against the San Francisco 49ers as well as the Apple Cup two days later at Husky Stadium.

During each of those football games, Snell’s apparent desire to pitch at T-Mobile Park was reported. First on the NBC broadcast of the Seahawks game, play-by-play announcer Mike Tirico said matter-of-factly that Snell hopes to be a Mariner in 2024 while footage was shown of the 30-year-old southpaw raising the ’12’ flag before the game.

“Blake Snell won his second Cy Young Award a few weeks ago. He did it pitching for the Padres, he’s a free agent now, he wants to pitch for the Mariners,” Tirico said of the Shoreline High School product.

Then on Saturday before Snell sounded the siren at Husky Stadium, Mike Martin of RealDawg.com tweeted that after some fans in the crowd yelled at Snell to come pitch for the Mariners, he responded, “Come get me.”

There have been rumblings before that Snell wants to pitch for the Mariners, and at this point it seems pretty clear cut that’s what he’s hoping to accomplish this offseason.

Is it a realistic outcome? On Monday’s edition of Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy, Michael Bumpus and producer Curtis Rogers (guest hosting for Stacy Rost) dove in on the subject.

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Bumpus in fact had his own interaction on Thursday with Snell, who joined the Seahawks Radio Network pregame show, which is hosted by Bumpus.

“I told him specifically, ‘I don’t work for the Mariners so this ain’t no collusion going on, I’m trying to sell you to Seattle,’ and honestly it feels like we don’t have to do much to sell Seattle to him,” Bumpus said. “He’s from this area and it sounds like he wants to be here, man.”

That’s something that reporter Ryan Divish, who covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times, essentially said on Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk last Wednesday.

“I’ve always said that I think they’re gonna sign Blake Snell because he really wants to come home, and then they’ll trade one of the young pitchers for a bat,” Divish said. “… If you’re Blake Snell, you look at the Mariners and what they do, I think they can clean up some of his inefficiencies in the strike zone, make him a guy that goes a little bit more than five or six (innings) every time, getting through the lineup three times without being at 100 pitches. I mean, (signing) somebody like that you could do very easily. Then all of a sudden you’re rolling out a rotation that’s got (Luis) Castillo, (George) Kirby, (Logan) Gilbert, Blake Snell, and then one of the young kids that you kept or even if you kept Marco (Gonzales).”

Rogers, who serves as one of the hosts for Mariners Radio Network pregame and postgame shows during the baseball season, said bringing Snell home makes a lot of sense to him.

“You pointed it out, the heavy lifting is done in terms of trying to convince Blake Snell that Seattle is a place for him,” Rogers said to Bumpus. “… This is a guy who is Seattle through and through. … I don’t know what more you need to do if you’re the Mariners other than to say, ‘Alright, here’s our offer, come play with the Mariners.'”

That leads to the question, though, of whether the Mariners have the same interest in Snell that he apparently does in them. He’s not the only big name on the pitching market the M’s could go after, and despite his résumé, he’s an interesting case as a pitcher who is tough to hit but struggles to keep his walks and pitch count in check, which limits how deep he can make it into his starts.

“There’s got to be interest on both sides to get a deal done,” Rogers continued. “It sounds like there’s a lot of interest from Blake Snell’s side to come home and play for the Mariners. If the Mariners don’t reciprocate that interest, or if they say, ‘We are not comfortable paying a pitcher who is on the other side of 30 now for ‘X’ number of years,’ I think that’s going to speak largely to what the Mariners plan to do this offseason. I think if they don’t go out and get Blake Snell, or if they don’t go out and get another free-agent pitcher, then I think it’s going to be an offseason very similar to what it was last year where there was not a big free-agent splash. It was just kind of develop from within and hope that guys emerge from your system in hopes that they are able to match what they did a year ago or surpass that, guys like Bryce Miller and Bryan Woo.

“I would feel more comfortable with Blake Snell in the Seattle Mariners rotation than a guy like Bryce Miller or Bryan Woo next year, where you’re still kind of wondering can he get you through a full season when neither one of those guys have done so in the past, whereas Blake Snell is a two-time Cy Young Award winner. I would take that.”

Bumpus didn’t need any more convincing on Snell, but he said what Rogers laid out did just that.

“I’ve already been sold, but you even sold me more when you say look, you’re gonna get a guy who you know is going to produce,” Bumpus said. “You’ve got some young arms, some young talent there that you’re hoping to see advance, but I think that’s when you lean on a résumé, and I think that’s what Blake Snell brings.”

Listen to the full Bump and Stacy conversation about the Seattle Mariners and Blake Snell in the final segment of the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post.

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It sure seems like Blake Snell wants to pitch for the Mariners