ESPN’s Buster Olney Predicts Blake Snell Signs With Angels
MLB: Colorado Rockies at San Diego Padres
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels have made it clear that they are content to go into the 2024 season with what they have, actively avoiding any major long-term commitments. Despite Mike Trout wanting the Angels to pursue top free agents like Blake Snell and Cody Bellinger, the Angels wanted to keep costs lower after losing Shohei Ohtani to the L.A. Dodgers in the offseason.

Nearly all of the offseason’s major free agents have found homes, with the notable exception being Snell. With the regular season beginning in less than three weeks, Snell — the reigning National League Cy Young winner — has yet to sign anywhere. This is because teams are wary of giving him a deal in excess of $200 million for a pitcher who rarely goes deep into games, especially in the postseason.

This may open the door for the Angels to come to an agreement with Snell on a short-term deal. At least, that’s what ESPN’s Buster Olney predicted on the Willard and Dibs podcast:

The Angels have traditionally been reluctant to sign pitchers to big multi-year commitments, though since Snell is reportedly open to taking a shorter-term contract (likely with at least one opt-out clause), this could help find common ground towards a landing spot in Anaheim.

In a recent edition of the Willard and Dibs podcast, ESPN’s Buster Olney predicted Blake Snell will sign with the Angels, based on “conversations with people…who know Blake” and Snell’s apparent enjoyment of pitching in southern California. Olney added the natural “depending on where the money falls” caveat, and things could also change depending on how the pitching market might yet play out, in regards to injuries suddenly changing the outlook for a would-be contender.

The Angels and Snell have been linked together for nearly the entire offseason, but it was clear very early on that Arte Moreno and the Halo front office would not meet the contract demands of Scott Boras. But if the market for Snell changes and a short-term deal becomes a legitimate consideration, perhaps the two sides could come to an agreement.

Angels stretching Jose Soriano out as starter

Jose Soriano was a relatively reliable option in a bullpen that was lacking in options for most of last season. And this year, the Angels and new manager Ron Washington are rewarding him for the work he did in 2023. The plan for Soriano this spring is to be stretched out as a starter.

Washington said the Angels already know what Soriano can do as a reliever and they think he has the stuff to start, so they’re giving him the chance to try his hand at starting again. He was considered a top starting pitching prospect in the Minors but underwent Tommy John surgery twice and was converted to relief last year.

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