Dylan Cease rumors should push LA Angels to go all in on Blake Snell

While other teams are negotiating with the White Sox, the Angels need to strike a deal.
Chicago White Sox pitcher Dylan Cease
Chicago White Sox pitcher Dylan Cease / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Dylan Cease could be on the move before Opening Day. The Chicago White Sox starter, who was the subject of trade speculation all offseason, is the topic of rumors once again. The New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, and San Diego Padres are all said to be interested in trading for Cease.

While Cease would upgrade the Los Angeles Angels starting rotation, the Halos don't have a deep enough farm system to get a deal done. The Angels could, however, take a different approach and focus their attention on the top free agent pitcher still available on the open market.

Blake Snell is still unsigned. While the Yankees are panicked, trying to offset the likely loss of Gerrit Cole by swinging a deal for Cease, the Angels should take New York's other top target off the board and sign Snell to a short-term contract.

Dylan Cease rumors should push LA Angels to go all in on Blake Snell

At this stage of the spring, it's doubtful that Snell could even be built up enough to be part of the Angels Opening Day roster. But an extra two weeks of work at the Angels' Arizona complex would probably be enough to see Snell join LA's rotation shortly after the 2024 regular season begins.

Snell's camp is apparently ready to throw in the towel on its pursuit of $200 million deal. If that's truly the case, and the Angels could secure the left-hander on a short-term contract with a high average annual value, LA should pull the trigger while the Yankees are distracted.

It's almost impossible for the Angels to screw this up, and yet there's still plenty of ways it could go south. Snell's preferred destination is said to be Los Angeles, so what in the world are the two sides waiting for?

The recent three-year, $126 million contract extension between Zack Wheeler and the Philadelphia Phillies could've thrown a bit of a monkey wrench into negotiations between the Angels and Snell. An AAV of $42 million is quite a bit, and would seem like an unlikely number for Snell to target in free agency. However, the southpaw is the reigning NL Cy Young winner, has two such awards to his credit, and is represented by Scott Boras.

It's not every day that a pitcher of Snell's caliber becomes a free agent, much less has voiced a desire to sign with your club. The Angels need to make this happen before the club who misses out on Cease becomes more desperate and drives up the price for Snell.