Angels Rumors: NL West team is LAA’s biggest threat for Blake Snell in free agency

If the Angels want Blake Snell, they'll have to outbid at least one more team.
San Diego Padres starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throws a pitch
San Diego Padres starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throws a pitch / Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Blake Snell's opportunities appear to be dwindling by the day. After Cody Bellinger signed a short-term deal loaded with multiple opt outs, it now appears that the best free agent pitcher available is looking to do the same. According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, Snell's camp is willing to follow the blueprint laid out by Bellinger.

That should entice the Los Angeles Angels and owner Arte Moreno to pull the trigger on a possible deal for the reigning NL Cy Young Award-winner. Snell and Jordan Montgomery represent the two best pitchers remaining on the open market. Snell has consistently been linked to the Halos, while Montgomery seems much more likely to land with either the Boston Red Sox or Texas Rangers.

But the Angels have a problem. Unlike the Cubs, the Angels won't be negotiating against themselves. There were no other known suitors in the Bellinger sweepstakes outside of the occasional mention of the Toronto Blue Jays. On the flip side, the San Francisco Giants are a player for Snell. According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, sources say there's a 50-50 chances the Giants could sign one of Snell or Matt Chapman.

LA Angels Rumors: Giants biggest threat for Blake Snell in free agency

Of course there's been consistent banter by the New York media that there's mutual interest between Snell and the New York Yankees. Though that may be true, it seems unlikely that Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner is willing to go even further into the fourth-tier tax threshold. After landing Juan Soto in an offseason trade with the San Diego Padres, the Yankees may have maxed out their credit cards.

But that's not the case when it comes to the Giants. San Francisco is under the Competitive Balance Tax threshold and are currently sitting well below their payroll from last season. The Giants are a real threat to secure Snell this spring if the Angels fail to craft a legitimate offer.

Don't sleep on the Philadelphia Phillies either, though it's more likely that Dave Dombroski and the Phils' front office focus their efforts on extending Zack Wheeler. If the Giants decide to sign Matt Chapman over Blake Snell, they will have essentially cleared the deck for the Halos to strike a deal with the left-hander and solidify their starting rotation.