The New York Yankees need to be extremely careful with how they approach Aaron Judge’s long-term contract extension, but they also have another big contract waiting in the wings.
Pitching coach Matt Blake has an expiring contract at the end of the 2022 season, which general manager Brian Cashman ‘must’ renew at all costs. Ownership has no choice but to splash the cash on a few essential pieces, especially if they want to retain their dominance for years to come.
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Blake has done a stellar job putting together an electric Yankees pitching staff:
The starting rotation has been incredibly productive this year, with the worst ERA in the unit being 3.35 from Luis Severino. While Nestor Cortes has struggled the last few games, he still has a team-best 2.51 ERA.
The Yankees’ bullpen has also been very productive, incorporating heavy sinker ball pitchers into the mix. With the starters adding a cutter to the sequence, opposing teams are finding it far more difficult to gain leverage.
Blake understands the value he brings to the squad but there are many pitching coaches with a similar skill-set rising through the ranks and getting paid appropriately at the new standard.
“Anytime you see someone in a similar skill-set go and do something like that you say, ‘Interesting,’ ” Blake said Friday, according to the New York Post. “You see the market moving. When I came over to Cleveland and got promotions and raises because the industry kept wanting my skill-set. It’s the same thing here now.”
Matt indicated that he has no intentions of leaving the Yankees, which is good news for management.
“I love being here and I love the role I’m in,’’ Blake said. “I like the people I work with. I don’t have any ambition of going to another team or the college ranks.”
“I’m compensated well now,’’ Blake said. “What does that mean for the best team in baseball in New York City and the way we’ve performed? What do they think it’s worth? I love working for these guys and I think they like having me here, so what does that mean for both sides?”
Given how successful the team’s pitching has been, letting Blake go would be a huge mistake. Considering the Yankees have an MLB-best 2.92 ERA, Steinbrenner should have no problem offering him a lucrative deal to stick around for several more years.