Giants finalize 2-year, $62M deal with Blake Snell

March 20th, 2024

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The wait is over. is going to San Francisco.

The Giants signed the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner to a two-year, $62 million deal, the club announced on Tuesday night. The contract includes an opt-out after the 2024 season. Snell will earn $15 million in 2024 with a $17 million signing bonus, payable on January 15, 2026. He'll earn $30 million in 2025, of which $15 million will be deferred and paid on July 1, 2027.

Because Snell rejected a qualifying offer from the Padres, the Giants will lose their third-round Draft pick in 2024, as well as $500,000 from their international bonus pool for the upcoming signing period. San Francisco had already forfeited its second-round pick after signing Matt Chapman, who also declined a qualifying offer.

Snell will join Chapman, Jung Hoo Lee, Jorge Soler and Jordan Hicks as the Giants' big-ticket free agents, and he'll come to the team with less than a week left in Spring Training, putting a bow on a busy offseason for the Giants.

The 31-year-old Snell will be reuniting with manager Bob Melvin, who was hired by the Giants in October after two years with the Padres.

The Giants will now sport the top two finishers in 2023 NL Cy Young voting -- Snell and Logan Webb -- leading their rotation. Snell will provide more experience and stability on a staff that also includes Kyle Harrison, the top left-handed pitching prospect according to MLB Pipeline, and Hicks.

“That’s a guy I looked up to, for sure,” Harrison said after the Giants' 4-2 win against the Reds at Goodyear Ballpark. “Watching baseball, coming up, I’m so excited for him to be here.”

The Giants could have one of the best rotations in the second half of the season once Robbie Ray (Tommy John surgery) and Alex Cobb (left hip surgery) are both fully healthy.

Snell had one of the most successful seasons by a pitcher last season, right before hitting the free-agency market.

He led the Majors with a 2.25 ERA and the NL with 6.0 bWAR in 180 innings. From a sheer run prevention standpoint, Snell was the best inning-per-inning starting pitcher in 2023. What was interesting was the way he got to his production, mostly based on his elite swing-and-miss stuff, an MLB-leading 99 walks and historically great numbers with runners in scoring position.

Snell was truly impossible to make contact against in 2023, as evidenced by his 234 strikeouts in 180 innings pitched. His 37.4% whiff rate was the second highest of any starting pitcher (min. 150 innings) in a season in the pitch-tracking era (since 2008) behind only Spencer Strider’s ‘23 season (38.6%).

While Snell’s mid-90s heater was impressive in its own right, it was his secondary pitches that did the heavy lifting in ‘23. A whopping 51.7% of swings against his slider, curveball and changeup resulted in whiffs.

Just as impressive was his league-worst ability to throw strikes. Snell led the Majors with a 13.3% walk rate, partly due to the “good vs. bad walks” approach with the Padres.

Snell held opponents to a .470 OPS with runners in scoring position, by far the lowest of any starting pitcher. While one could dismiss that as flukey, Snell also led the Majors with a .374 OPS with RISP in his Cy Young Award-winning season with the Rays in 2018 -- the third-lowest figure in a single season by an AL/NL starter (min. 100 batters faced with RISP).

With Snell now in the mix, Mason Black (the Giants' No. 8 prospect) will likely go to Triple-A Sacramento to begin the season. Black was in contention for the No. 5 spot in the rotation.

Snell was picked 52nd overall in the 2011 Draft by the Rays, with whom he remained for the first five seasons of his big league career. He was traded to San Diego in December 2020, where he played for three seasons before electing free agency in '23.