If it’s to be his last act as a Padre, it was a memorable one for Blake Snell.
Snell, a free agent, accepted the National League Cy Young Award Wednesday for a season in which he went 14-9 and posted a 2.25 ERA to lead baseball. He held opposing batters to a .180 batting average while striking out 234.
It’s his second Cy Young – the first came in the American League with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2018, when he went 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA two seasons before he came west. He is the first Padre to claim the award since Jake Peavy in 2007 and the fifth overall.
In an interview on MLB Network, Snell, 30, described winning the award again as “a pretty amazing thing.”
“It means the work I’m putting in is paying off, it’s working,” he said.
Snell won going away, with 28 first-place votes in the balloting by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. All the finalists came from the NL West – the Giants’ Logan Webb finished second, followed by the Diamondbacks’ Zac Gallen.
Snell had 204 points total, and American League Cy Young winner, Yankee Gerrit Cole, did him one better, collecting all 30 first-place votes for 210 points.
One surprising part of Snell’s success in 2023 – he also led baseball in walks, with 99. On the MLB Network, he explained how he accepted that he’s “different, and I believe I have such good stuff that one walk is not going to end my success or end the game.”
The Padres have expressed interest in keeping Snell, who turned down the club’s qualifying offer Tuesday. If he leaves he will be playing for his third club in the majors. A panel of ESPN experts named the Cardinals, Phillies and Dodgers as his likeliest suitors.