The Los Angeles Angels are a team in need of a big boost in their starting rotation, but with free agency in full swing, their chances at finding a real upgrade lessen by the day. The two best pitchers by far are Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery. While we've heard the Angels connected at different points to both starters, their price tags make them less than likely to head to Anaheim.
Both Snell and Montgomery are expected to get five or more years for roughly $150 million. There are some reports out there suggesting Snell is searching for a contract worth over $200 million. The Angels have money to spend, but if they were unwilling to go all out for Shohei Ohtani, it's hard to believe they'll go all out for players of Montgomery or Snell's caliber.
While both of these starters seem unlikely to land in Anaheim, ESPN's Kiley McDaniel made a bold prediction about Blake Snell that could make him more palatable for Perry Minasian and more importantly, Arte Moreno.
If MLB Insider's 'bold' Blake Snell prediction comes true, the Angels should sign him
McDaniel's bold prediction is that Snell, the reigning NL Cy Young winner, will sign a three-year deal this offseason. This would certainly be unprecidented following the year Snell just had, but with little rumored interest around the league, it certainly doesn't feel impossible.
"I'd imagine the idea from Snell's camp would be to get something like three years, $105 million with an opt-out or two, but guaranteed money if things go sideways. That would give Snell a top-10 all-time AAV and a chance to hit the market whenever he wants, which saves face enough for a two-time Cy Young winner relative to expectations."- Kiley McDaniel - ESPN
McDaniel is predicting Snell won't get the lengthy deal he seeks at the value he believes is appropriate, so he could consider a three-year deal with a high AAV. Snell likely won't get above $30 million annually if he pursues a very lengthy deal, so this could be a way for him to get a large chunk of money upfront, bet on himself, and cash in if he performs.
A deal like the one McDaniel suggests, a three-year deal worth $105 million with an opt-out or two, is one the Angels should strongly consider. They have plenty of money to play with and would not be tied down to Snell long-term if his prior inconsistencies were to resurface. We know his ceiling is enormous, but his floor is a lot lower than someone you'd like to give over $150 million to.
Arte Moreno has been historically reluctant to pay pitchers exorbitant amounts of money, but this kind of structure feels like one he might go for. This type of contract won't burn the Angels in the way Anthony Rendon's has because the length wouldn't be there. There'd be a good chance Snell opts out after a year or two, and if he doesn't it'd only be a three-year commitment.
Snell has been inconsistent throughout his career, winning a pair of Cy Youngs but looking incredibly average in the years that he doesn't win one. That kind of inconsistency is why teams aren't lining up to give him a franchise-altering payday.
This prediction is quite bold as Snell will likely look to shoot for his big payday right now, but if he does consider a shorter-term deal like this, the Angels have to be all over it.