San Francisco Giants Now Leading Candidate to Sign Houston Astros Top Target  - Sports Illustrated Inside The Astros

The Houston Astros may lose out on their top free agent target as the San Francisco Giants are now seen as the favorites.

The Houston Astros have expressed interest in adding starting pitching to their roster in recent days.

With news of Justin Verlander missing Opening Day and Jose Urquidy likely to follow, owner Jim Crane and the front office are aggressively pursuing options.

Their first choice is two-time Cy Young winner Blake Snell, a player that Crane has wanted to add to the roster since last year’s trade deadline.

However, reports suggest that Snell and his agent Scott Boras’ asking price remains high, about two-years and $66 million. That would push the Astros beyond the third luxury tax threshold.

While Snell is willing to take a short-term deal, just like every other high profile Boras client this winter, Houston is “balking” at their price.

MLB Tonight discusses Astros interest in Blake Snell

As such, Snell remains unsigned just days away from Opening Day.

Now, USA Today is reporting that the San Francisco Giants are now the leading candidates to sign Snell to a deal. A stark departure from where we were even 24 hours ago.

Still, there is a chance that the Astros and Snell’s camp could meet in the middle somewhere. The Astros represent Snell’s best chance to pitch in a World Series and the culture of the clubhouse is well documented.

Additionally, when Crane wants a player he almost always certainly finds a way to get him.

As for the Giants, they made a splash by adding fellow Boras client third baseman Matt Chapman to the roster this winter on what is essentially a one-year deal. San Francisco has been looking to make a big splash in free agency the last few seasons, especially after missing out on Aaron Judge last winter.

Adding Snell to the roster could represent a win for the Giants to their fanbase.

They also may have more capital to spend when it comes to the luxury tax thresholds.

Where Snell lands remains to be seen but his individual stove is sizzling hot.