Dodgers Team News

Dodgers Made ‘Late Play’ For Blake Snell, Fell Short: Report

Did the Dodgers’ pursuit of Blake Snell pressure the San Francisco Giants to go all-in on a free agent signing that could be a colossal bust?

According to a new report from Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the Dodgers were in on Snell, who ended up signing a free agent contract with the San Francisco Giants.

Word is the Dodgers made a late play for Blake Snell before he opted for the rival Giants. As it was, L.A.’s winter was an all-timer: Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Tyler Glasnow, Teoscar Hernandez, James Paxton, more. The effort shows they still have money to spend, though.

— via Jon Heyman of the New York Post

The contract pays Snell, the 2023 National League Cy Young award winner, $15 million in base salary this year and $30 million in 2025 if he exercises a player option in his contract. At this point, the option year feels like a certainty.

Snell, 31, is 0-3 with a 10.42 ERA in five starts. Perhaps the most important detail of his contract is when it was signed — March 18, two days before the first game of the MLB regular season. That left Snell very little time to ramp up into the new season with a new team. The effect has been obvious.

While it could just be a matter of time before Snell’s belated onboarding has him pitching like a two-time Cy Young award winner again, he could also go down as the biggest free agent bust of the off-season. It’s too soon to say.

Regardless, the Dodgers have to be happy with their rotation depth. Dodgers starting pitchers rank sixth in MLB with a 3.40 ERA. Glasnow has been the workhorse the front office envisioned, leading the National League with 74 innings pitched.

Of the others, only Walker Buehler has truly struggled, going 1-2 with a 4.26 ERA through his first four starts, though perhaps that was to be expected in his return from a second Tommy John surgery. The rest of the Dodgers’ rotation depth has been even better than expected.

Landon Knack has a 2.61 ERA as the Dodgers’ occasional sixth starter, and currently there is no room for him in the major league rotation. He started Thursday at Triple-A. Bobby Miller has only made three starts because of a shoulder injury, and he could return to give the rotation even more depth.

Against this backdrop, making a last-minute splurge on Snell would have been unnecessary. Whether the Dodgers knew what they had in Knack, or saw the warning signs around Snell’s late start, they seem to have made the right call by letting the veteran sign elsewhere.

Even before the Dodgers entered the Snell derby, the Giants were feeling pressure to add depth to a rotation led by Logan Webb. They did not have nearly enough depth to compete with the Dodgers for 162 games, and subsequent injuries to Keaton Winn and Tristan Beck (as well as the surgery recoveries by veterans Alex Cobb and Robbie Ray) only added to the pressure.

Hindsight is 20-20, but the Dodgers saw the situation clearly at the time.

Photo Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

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JP Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra writes and edits Major League Baseball content for and is the author of 'The 50 Greatest Dodger Games Of All Time.' He once recorded a keyboard solo on the same album as two of the original Doors. Follow at

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