Blake Snell hopes to pitch in Giants' opening series vs. Padres

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Wednesday, March 20, 2024

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Blake Snell joined the San Francisco Giants just nine days before their opener, and the two-time Cy Young Award winner said he hopes he will be ready to start during the first series at his old team, the San Diego Padres.

"We'll throw a bullpen tomorrow and go from there," Snell said Wednesday at his first news conference with the Giants, a day after finalizing a $62 million, two-year contract.

Right-hander Logan Webb, runner-up to Snell in last year's NL Cy Young vote, will start the opener. Snell could pitch later in the four-game series.

Snell was 14-9 with a 2.25 ERA last year for the Padres, winning the NL Cy Young to go along with his 2018 AL Cy Young with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Lengthy negotiations resulted in a deal that allows him to opt out and become a free agent again after earning $32 million this season.

"It took a long time, but we had a good plan and we were committed to it," Snell said. "It's tough, but now that I'm here, I'm focused on being here."

Snell said he worked out in Seattle until reaching the deal, following his normal offseason plan.

Snell gets a $17 million signing bonus payable on Jan. 15, 2026, and a $15 million salary this year. He would get $30 million if he keeps the contract for 2025, of which $15 million would be deferred and payable on July 1, 2027.

Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi was determined to add to his staff after falling short in bidding for other players this offseason.

"We talked all offseason about adding to the top of our rotation," Zaidi said. "We were really excited about the pitching we had already. We couldn't be more excited as an organization. We know Blake's ready to go."

Snell became the second client of agent Scott Boras to sign with the Giants during spring training after third baseman Matt Chapman, whose $54 million, three-year deal includes a pair of opt outs.

"Matt and Blake are both great players who I think every team would be really excited to have," Zaidi said. "We just had to stay in conversations and make sure that eventually there was a deal that was workable for the club that gave the players what they wanted."

South Korean outfielder Jung Hoo Lee, another Boras client, signed a $113 million, six-year deal with the Giants.

"It's like hockey. Unless you have a hat trick, you're not doing your job," Boras quipped.

Snell is changing teams, but not managers. Bob Melvin also moved from the Padres to the Giants.

"He lets you play," Snell said. "And he holds you accountable."

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