Blake Snell's contract projection falls in line with the Chicago Cubs' interests

Looking over some contract projections among pending free agents and looking at how Blake Snell falls in line with the Chicago Cubs.
Colorado Rockies v San Diego Padres
Colorado Rockies v San Diego Padres / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

With several key players set to hit free agency after the World Series, The Athletic (Subscription Required) released an article featuring contract projections for the most prominent players hitting the market and some that could be of interest to the Chicago Cubs.

One player in particular is Blake Snell, who looks to be a lock for NL Cy Young this season. Surprisingly, the Athletic tabs Snell for receiving a five-year, 122.0M contract, reaching a $24.4M AAV.

Given the Cubs' payroll situation and the likelihood of Marcus Stroman opting in and the Cubs picking up Kyle Hendricks' club option, the Cubs will need an effective starter to boost the starting rotation. Granted, that will leave the front office with decisions to be made regarding the roles to be carved out by Jordan Wicks and Javier Assad, with Justin Steele and Jameson Taillon guaranteed spots. Still, the team has emphasized depth, and having as many high-quality arms as possible is the way to go, given that the Cubs have several nice pieces that can step into a starting role if needed.

If Stroman and Hendricks remain with the Cubs for 2024, the spending the Cubs have at their disposable hypothetically begins to dwindle. Of course, they still need a bat and bullpen help, but lining the Cubs' payroll projections up to a T isn't necessarily realistic either. The front office could surprise us and blow past the luxury tax threshold, as they've stated they would be open to doing so when the time is right.

That time is now, as the Cubs narrowly missed the postseason by one game this season. With any campaign like he had this year, Snell is an automatic way to propel the team forward. These days, 24.4M a year is reasonable, especially for the upside Snell can provide. Take a look at a projected starting rotation with Snell for 2024:

  • Blake Snell
  • Justin Steele
  • Marcus Stroman
  • Kyle Hendricks
  • Jameson Taillon

Should Stroman return to his career average ERA mark, the upside of this rotation speaks for itself. As stated, having arms such as Wicks and Assad waiting in the wings provides solid depth. Snell is cost-effective for the production he can provide, and though the Athletic doesn't link him to the Cubs as a potential fit, it's hard to imagine the Cubs won't be after him at that price.

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