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Should the Toronto Blue Jays go after Blake Snell?

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ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 27: Blake Snell #4 of the Tampa Bay Rays reacts as he is being taken out of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the sixth inning in Game Six of the 2020 MLB World Series at Globe Life Field on October 27, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 27: Blake Snell #4 of the Tampa Bay Rays reacts as he is being taken out of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the sixth inning in Game Six of the 2020 MLB World Series at Globe Life Field on October 27, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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The Tampa Bay Rays are reportedly willing to listen to offers on their ace in Blake Snell. Should the Toronto Blue Jays attempt to trade for him?

The Tampa Bay Rays are coming off a World Series appearance where they really held their own with the Los Angeles Dodgers. They fell two games short of World Series glory, but for a relatively young team with an annual payroll that ranks among the lowest in the league, it’s quite the accomplishment and shows that they have a bright future.

One of the main talking points of the World Series was how their manager Kevin Cash handled his starting pitchers, specifically Blake Snell. In Game six of the World Series with the Rays up 1-0, despite striking out nine batters and walking none, Snell was pulled by his manager, which shocked many people.

This wasn’t the first time that Snell was pulled early despite a strong outing. There was a similar occurrence earlier in the playoffs where Snell was on a roll but was yanked. Typically, Cash doesn’t allow his starters to go more than five innings or to face the lineup a third time through.

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Word is out that the Rays are apparently listening to offers on Snell. Is this someone the Toronto Blue Jays should go after even with all the potential obstacles in place?

Snell would be a perfect addition to the Jays rotation. He’s a young (27), controllable starter that’s under contract until the 2023 season. He would slot nicely behind Hyun-Jin Ryu and could very well usurp him as the team ace if he were to become a Blue Jay. This would give the Jays a formidable front of the rotation that would consist of him, Ryu and Nate Pearson. While Snell would strengthen the rotation, the prospects of the Blue Jays acquiring him are very slim.

For one, the Blue Jays and Rays play in the same division and it’s very rare for teams in the same division to trade with each other. These two teams did make a trade at the 2019 deadline which saw the Rays acquire Eric Sogard from the Blue Jays, but this can be considered a small deal as the utility man was on an expiring contract and the two guys they got in return (Curtis Taylor and Edisson Gonzalez) are not considered top 30 prospects.

To deal someone that can be controlled and talented like Snell within the division is extremely rare. In order to do so, the Rays would have to be blown away by the offer and would need more in return than if they were to trade him to a team outside of the AL East. The Rays are in desperate need of a catcher and while the Blue Jays have tremendous depth at that position, none of the five the team has on their 40 man roster would be a centre piece of the deal.

If the Blue Jays were to acquire Snell, one of Danny Jansen, Reese McGuire or Alejandro Kirk would have to be a part of the package with the latter likely being the preferred option due to his age and controllability.

Along with a catcher, the Rays would most likely require one of the Jays top prospects in Pearson, Austin Martin or Jordan Groshans. That would not nearly be enough though as they would also most likely need another top prospect like Simeon Woods Richardson or Alek Manoah and another mid-tier prospect.

A similar deal to what the Jays would need to give up for Snell is what the Boston Red Sox gave up to get Chris Sale from the Chicago White Sox in 2016. To get him, the Red Sox gave up two top prospects in Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech and two-mid-tier prospects in Luis Alexander Basabe and Victor Diaz.

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As the Jays have what the Rays are in need of (catching) I guess it wouldn’t hurt to give them a call about Snell, but giving up a catcher, two top prospects, and another player with potential is a definite no from me.

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