Confusion clouds Yankees’ 1-year offer to Blake Snell, sources call it ‘BS’

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Michael Bennington
Tuesday February 20, 2024

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Yankees fans yearning for ace pitcher Blake Snell might want to adjust their expectations. According to renowned baseball columnist Bob Klapisch of NJ Advance Media, the chances of the pitcher landing in pinstripes are a meager 5%. Despite recent reports suggesting strong interest from the Yankees, Klapisch throws cold water on the notion, calling them “not accurate.”

Furthermore, a report claiming the Yankees made a contract offer to Blake Snell falls into the same category of “inaccurate,” according to reliable sources close to the team. An anonymous MLB source went even further, bluntly dismissing the rumors as “Total BS.”

This doesn’t definitively rule out the possibility of a deal, but it paints a much clearer picture of the Yankees’ current stance: lukewarm at best. With numerous other teams also vying for Blake Snell’s services, the Yankees would likely face steep competition and potentially overpay to secure him.

Blake Snell confusion continues

While the allure of Blake Snell in pinstripes tantalized many Yankees fans, the reality seems less exciting. Renowned agent Scott Boras, known for his strategic negotiations, might be using the Yankees’ name to leverage interest and drive up the bidding war, particularly with the Giants and Angels, considered frontrunners for the coveted lefty.

The Yankees reportedly made an offer of $150 million to Blake Snell in January 2024.
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While earlier reports mentioned a lucrative six-year, $150 million offer from the Yankees, reliable sources close to the team confirm it was withdrawn. Remember, shortly after, they secured Marcus Stroman, a two-time All-Star righty, for a more modest $37 million over two seasons. This decision suggests the Yankees have addressed their immediate rotation needs, making Snell less of a priority.

While Yankees fans might have dreamed of Blake Snell in pinstripes, the reality seems less likely. Sources close to the team indicate that renowned agent Scott Boras, known for his strategic negotiations, has been pushing for a second offer for Blake Snell, but the Yankees are currently uninterested.

This decision stems from their satisfaction with their current rotation. Gerrit Cole remains the ace, backed by former All-Stars Carlos Rodon and Nestor Cortes. The recent signing of Marcus Stroman bolsters the lineup, and Clarke Schmidt’s promising late-season performance in 2023 offers further depth.

The source suggests a complete shift in perspective: the Yankees would only consider revisiting Blake Snell if an injury strikes their existing rotation during spring training, and if the asking price plunges significantly. This highlights their commitment to their current setup and unwillingness to overpay.

It’s worth noting that Blake Snell’s initial demands were steep – a nine-year, $270 million contract. While he’s reportedly more open to negotiation, the Yankees seem unfazed. His impressive 2023 season included a 14-5 record and a phenomenal 2.25 ERA, which undoubtedly adds value, but not enough to sway the Yankees from their current course.

Yankees pursuit of Blake Snell: A reality check

Yankees captain Aaron Judge with San Diego pitcher Blake-Snell in May 2023.
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While the door isn’t completely shut on acquiring Blake Snell, Yankees fans hoping for the reigning NL Cy Young winner might want to adjust their expectations. As the team gears up for full-squad workouts on Tuesday, there’s no concrete evidence suggesting an offer has been extended to Snell.

While the possibility of Blake Snell joining the Bronx Bombers remains technically open, fans might need to brace for a less exciting reality. Reports suggest the Yankees’ initial contract offer earlier this offseason was withdrawn after they secured Marcus Stroman, solidifying their rotation needs.

While a price drop could reignite interest, the Yankees currently face a projected luxury-tax payroll of $306.7 million, according to Cot’s Contracts. Adding Blake Snell’s significant salary to this equation could push them further into the financial territory they’d prefer to avoid.

The Yankees’ pursuit of Blake Snell comes with a hefty price tag, not just in terms of his potential salary, but also due to luxury tax implications and draft pick compensation. Here’s a breakdown of the financial hurdles:

The Yankees have already surpassed the highest luxury tax threshold and are facing hefty penalties for exceeding it for three consecutive years. Any amount exceeding $297 million triggers a 110% penalty.

If Blake Snell signs a $30 million annual contract, the Yankees wouldn’t just pay his salary. They would be hit with a $33 million penalty on top of it, bringing Snell’s total cost in 2024 to a staggering $63 million.

Since Blake Snell rejected the Padres’ qualifying offer, the Yankees are obligated to surrender their second- and fifth-round draft picks in July’s draft, along with $1 million in international bonus pool funds. This depletes their draft capital and limits their ability to acquire young talent.

Bringing Blake Snell aboard is not just about his on-field performance; it’s a significant financial commitment that comes with consequences. The Yankees need to weigh his value against the luxury tax penalties, draft pick losses, and potential impact on their overall budget before making a decision.

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Despite the Yankees’ financial muscle, General Manager Brian Cashman kept mum on whether they’ll pursue further reinforcements like Blake Snell. This leaves fans wondering if the current roster is enough to contend in a highly competitive AL East.

Cashman stated on Thursday that he doesn’t have “blocked” listed on his call sheet for any agents. He emphasized that if they wish to reach out, they are welcome to do so. He expressed his openness to listening to available opportunities and maintaining dialogues with other general managers. While the Yankees GM acknowledged satisfaction with their current roster, he emphasized the importance of remaining open-minded, especially considering the length of the season. He emphasized that the team cannot assume that their current roster will be sufficient for the entirety of the season, highlighting the ongoing need to remain open to potential opportunities.

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