Not many people had Blake Snell as a Cy Young favorite heading into the 2023 season and with good reason. Snell had certainly been a very good pitcher in recent years, but his numbers had dropped off considerably from his 2018 season with the Rays where he posted a 1.89 ERA and won the AL Cy Young award.
However, 2023 was a big bounce back season for Snell as put up a 2.25 ERA for the Padres in 32 starts. Importantly, this was also the first season since that 2018 season that Snell was able to throw more than 129 innings in a season with 180 IP in 2023. If you are going to have another career year, doing it the season before you hit free agency is the time to do it.
Snell's season positioned him as one of the top starting pitchers on the free agent market this offseason. His durability is a concern, but he is still probably going to a four or five year deal at around $24-25 million a year when he signs.
With the Braves still thinking about giving an extension to Max Fried and the fact that Snell's durability concerns as well as the fact that his walk rate this season (5.0 BB/9) was so rough, Atlanta doesn't seem likely to compete for his services. But if they did pull the trigger, he would be a huge addition to the Braves' starting rotation.