The Mets are better off staying away from the NL Cy Young favorite in free agency

The NL Cy Young favorite is available this winter but the Mets should be cautious.
Sep 19, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throws a
Sep 19, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throws a / Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Every New York Mets fan shares one thing in common: wasted years in traffic.

But there is something else the majority also share: the desire to win. Hang around social media too long and you'll realize some who claim to be fans would rather watch the team burn. The rest of us prefer to see the best team possible on the field.

So when the guy who is probably going to win the Cy Young becomes a free agent, it makes sense for us to want to pounce. Not in this case. The Mets are actually better off skipping out on Blake Snell. What a weird world we live in.

NL Cy Young favorite Blake Snell is going to cost more than the Mets should be willing to pay

It goes contradictory to everything else about wanting to see the team get better. Snell is an excellent pitcher who isn't near the end of his reign. This isn't like signing Justin Verlander last offseason or Max Scherzer one winter prior. Snell is no mercenary. He's a guy who will stick around with his next contract barring multiple opt outs.

Why pass so easily on a pitcher of his caliber? The market for Snell is roaring. The price tag will come at a ridiculous cost the Mets are better off utilizing elsewhere and maybe even on multiple pieces.

Snell was 14-9 with a league-best 2.25 ERA this past season in 32 starts. The old man that likes to yell at clouds inside all of us definitely took notice at the innings total paired with the ERA. The average comes out to just over 5 and a half innings per appearance. While commonplace in MLB these days, it’s hard to accept.

Throughout his career with the Tampa Bay Rays and San Diego Padres, Snell has been tough to predict. His first Cy Young came in 2018 when he won 21 games with a 1.89 ERA. This past year was only his second to include double-digit wins. Injuries have played a factor in his career. He’s nowhere near the type of bulldog innings eater we still think of when we see the words Cy Young Award.

Run prevention was truly Snell’s best attribute this past season. His 1.189 WHIP was very “meh” and brought about mostly by walks. He led the league with 99 of them for a rate of 5 per 9 innings of work. Meanwhile, his 5.8 hits allowed per 9 was also tops.

Wildly effective and with his usual stupendous strikeout totals—11.7 per 9 this past year and 11.1 per 9 in his career—Snell is the kind of pitcher who will get the job done and yet he’ll frustrate along the way. He’s worth a close look and heavy consideration by the Mets. There’s just a little something off with a guy who gives up so many free passes and is about to enter his ninth season with only two where he went over 130 innings.

Snell’s potential second time winning the Cy Young came appropriately right before hitting free agency. The asking price should have increased because of it. The Mets should be cautious about nibbling.