Mariners finally cutting ties with Snell

Geoff Baker on Ian Snell's tenure with the Mariners finally (and mercifully) coming to an end:

    As for Snell, today's move likely ends his career in Seattle. It was one marked by disappointment in the 10-plus months since being acquired, along with shortstop Jack Wilson, in a trade for catcher Jeff Clement and infielder Ronny Cedeno.

    Snell was 0-5 with a 6.41 ERA this year. The strikeout ability he'd shown earlier in his career, and last year, when he fanned 17 in one AAA game after asking the Pirates for a demotion, never materialized with the M's.

    His moodiness also became an issue with the team at times...

Just a 26th-round draft pick 10 years ago, Snell always had the performance if not the stuff, so his trek through the minors was steady rather than swift. Before reaching the majors for good (sort of) in 2005, Snell's minor-league record was 58-19, which has to rank somewhere near the top of the list in recent years. In his first two full seasons in the majors, he went 23-23 with a solid ERA and a better-than-solid strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Since then, it's just been one thing after another. He seems to have lost some arm strength, and his pitches across the board simply haven't been as effective. There was that brief, shining moment last year, though: Last year's Triple-A stint was more than just the 17-strikeout game; in six starts with Indianapolis, Snell struck out 47, walked 13, and didn't give up any home runs in 37 innings.

It was those 37 innings, I'm guessing, which convinced the Mariners that Snell was worth a long look (they certainly convinced me). Obviously, it hasn't worked out as he's got more walks than strikeouts in 24 games with the franchise. Just as obviously, both teams have essentially lost that trade, as Wilson's been mostly hurt, Cedeno's been mostly (or completely) unable to hit, and Clement's already washed out of the majors (again). So let's just call it a Noble Experiment and move along.

I suspect that if Snell can't get back on track somewhere, the premature end of his career will generally be blamed on his moodiness or something. I also suspect that if you could somehow pilot a microscopic submarine into the deepest recesses of Ian Snell, you would find that he's just not the same man, physically, that he was three years ago.