The Athletic’s Fake Blake Snell to the Red Sox Trade is Laughable

The Tampa Bay Rays have made Blake Snell available for trade this offseason. Once that information was floated out on social media, Red Sox fans eyes began to grow. The Red Sox are desperate for good quality starting pitching and Snell would certainly check that box.

The Red Sox finished the 2020 season ranked 25th in starters with a 5.34 ERA. They were last in starters with a 1.56 WHIP, and 29th in starter’s opponent batting average of .279. I don’t need to remind you that those gaudy numbers are based off the 60-game season they just played and not the typical 162-game season.

A couple of days ago, The Athletic released an article that proposed five potential fake Blake Snell trades. The Red Sox were included in the article as a team who could be involved in the fake-Blake Snell sweepstakes.

The “Fake” Trade

I love a great baseball trade rumor, especially when the Red Sox are involved. When I saw the article on The Athletic, I was excited to see what the Red Sox could send in exchange for the lefty.

The Athletic proposes the Red Sox to trade OF Alex Verdugo, prospect Tristan Casas and RHP Tanner Houck for Snell.


I understand the Red Sox need pitching, but the “fake” cost for Snell is a complete overpayment and it impacts the team as a whole.

The Red Sox haven’t exactly excelled at putting together a starting rotation the last few years. The team lost Chris Sale to Tommy John surgery last year. When they lost Eduardo Rodriguez to mirocarditis as a complication to COVID-19 they were left with back-end of the rotation options last year. 

In order to acquire Snell, the Red Sox will have to give up some legitimate pieces. The cost of Verdugo being the centerpiece of the trade is where I am out. 

Trust the Process

I have no interest in trading Verdugo after only one season with the Red Sox. He is under control and will not be arbitration eligible until 2022. Verdugo makes a ton of sense for the Rays because they will gain a player who’ll be under team control.

Verdugo was very productive for the Red Sox in his first season with the Red Sox. In 53 games with Boston, he hit .308 and had six home runs with 15 RBI with a .367 OBP, .478 SLG and .844 OPS. That slash line was a career high for Verdugo albeit it was only a 60 game season.

When it comes to Verdugo we need to keep in mind one thing, he came over in the Mookie Betts trade but he is not replacing Betts. Verdugo showed he can play in Boston last season and he also is extremely passionate and it shows in his play on the field.

Verdugo quickly showed he can play in Boston going from a platoon player to everyday. His energy is intoxicating when on the field and in the clubhouse which over time Red Sox fans will grow to love about No. 99.

I’m Not Trading Houck

I am going to piggy back on the headline to this section, I’m not trading Houck. The Red Sox finally feel like they’re developing pitching in their system and to immediately deal them off is extremely frustrating to think about.

In three starts with the Red Sox, he went 3-0 with a 0.53 ERA, striking out 21 in 17 innings. He featured an arsenal of pitches including his devastating slider that was breaking away from opposing right-handed hitters to his two-seamer dive bombing to their ankles.

Despite the fact he had three outstanding starts with the big club, I am going to caution fans it’s a small sample size. But since he changed his mechanics, reduced down the number of pitches he throws at hitters and moved where he throws off the rubber, he has been dominating.

Houck might be one of the better starting pitchers to come out of the Red Sox system in the last decade. The Red Sox need to continue to develop him within the organization and reap the benefits of him being under team control for a while.

Tristan Casas

According to Sox Prospects’ latest rankings he is the Red Sox’ No. 1 prospect. He is also the Red Sox top minor-league trade chip they currently have.

The Red Sox feel that Casas is a foundation type player that they can build around. He will make someone expendable in the next year or two when he is ready to impact the big league roster.

There have been other players in the past that we’ve bought into the hype as they were coming up in the system. Lars Anderson, Henry Owens and most recently Blake Swihart have all been highly touted Red Sox prospects at one point or another.

If the Red Sox feel Casas is the real deal then I don’t add him into this “fake” Snell trade. The Rays are getting the better end of the deal, there is more upside with the three players in Verdugo, Houck and Casas than with three years of Snell.

No Deal

So why would Bloom trade Verdugo who was the centerpiece of the Betts deal, Houck who is one of their controllable young arms showing promise and Casas? The answer is he wouldn’t make that deal. If Bloom did he would be signing his pink slip in Boston to the remaining fans who actually support him.

I love the idea of Snell coming to Boston, he would help be part of the next wave of potentially great Red Sox teams. If I am Bloom I look to bring the asking price down from the three players mentioned. The Rays have made a history of making great trades, just look at the Chris Archer deal a few years ago. The basically fleeced the Pirates for Tyler Glasnow, Shane Baz and Austin Meadows. If Bloom is stupid enough to make this “fake” trade, despite getting Snell, it would be a bigger deal than trading Betts.

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