June 19, 2024

In a recent episode of the “Willard and Dibs” podcast, ESPN’s Buster Olney suggested that Blake Snell could sign with the Angels. Olney based this prediction on conversations he had with individuals familiar with Snell, noting Snell’s apparent enjoyment of pitching in southern California. However, Olney also acknowledged that the ultimate decision could depend on various factors, including financial considerations and changes in the pitching market due to injuries.

Agent Scott Boras mentioned receiving interest from new teams regarding Snell and Jordan Montgomery since the beginning of spring training. However, both pitchers remain unsigned as of the second week of March.

The Angels were previously linked to Snell in December, with reports indicating that he was a priority for them as a top-of-the-rotation pitcher to replace Shohei Ohtani. While there hasn’t been much public movement between Snell and the Angels since then, the team hasn’t made significant upgrades to their rotation either, focusing primarily on bolstering their bullpen during the offseason.

Traditionally, the Angels have been cautious about making long-term commitments to pitchers. However, since Snell is reportedly open to shorter-term contracts, potentially with opt-out clauses, this flexibility could facilitate negotiations and lead to a deal with the Angels.

In other news from around the AL West:

– Josh Jung, the Rangers’ starting third baseman, has been sidelined for about three weeks due to calf soreness. While there’s been some improvement indicated by a recent MRI, the team remains cautious about ramping up his running program. There’s a possibility that Jung might start the season on the 10-day injured list if he misses more spring training time, although the injury doesn’t appear to be severe given his significant contributions in his rookie season.

– AJ Pollock, who just turned 36, is currently at the Mariners’ spring camp in a mentoring role, though he hasn’t officially retired and is still exploring his playing options. Pollock played for Seattle last season before being traded to the Giants and struggled at the plate. However, he has shown strong offensive performances in previous seasons, making his future plans intriguing.

Justin Verlander threw around 60 pitches in a bullpen session on Friday, showing lower-90s velocity on his fastball, which is a positive development as he recovers from a minor shoulder problem that delayed his spring training start. While the Astros have announced that Verlander will begin the season on the 10-day IL for additional recovery time, there’s no significant concern over his health.

– With Verlander and J.P. France dealing with shoulder issues, the Astros rotation is uncertain as Opening Day approaches. Chandler Rome of The Athletic suggests that Houston might need to adopt a six-man rotation in April due to a busy early schedule, potentially allowing Ronel Blanco and Brandon Bielak to secure rotation spots or serve as long relievers depending on the status of Verlander and France.

Another insider links Blake Snell to AL team

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