Yankees’ big pitching addition will have to wait as caution takes hold

mlb: washington nationals at new york yankees, brian cashman
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

In an ideal scenario, the New York Yankees would secure Blake Snell on a short-term deal worth $35 million annually, a strategy that would safeguard their long-term financial flexibility. Amidst navigating several cumbersome contracts that limit their spending capacity, General Manager Brian Cashman and the Yankees have shown a keen interest in Snell, with even Aaron Judge hinting at potential roster additions during a recent press conference.

Yankees’ Contract Negotiations and Team Strategy

Despite rumors of an offer for Snell over the past week, insider reports suggest that talks have cooled, with no significant progress since an initial proposal was withdrawn after the Yanks landed Marcus Stroman.

“Despite the continued linkage between the sides…there hasn’t been any momentum on this front since the Yankees pulled their offer.”

Per the New York Post

The Yankees had extended a five-year, $150 million proposal to Snell, averaging $30 million per year, which was promptly rejected by the pitcher, leading the Yankees to pivot to Stroman with a more modest two-year, $37 million agreement.

Most would agree that the Bombers could use one final addition to the rotation, a top-flight arm that can help quell any concerns about Carlos Rodon and Nestor Cortes bouncing back from injury. Rodan is hitting around 97 mph on his fastball, and Cortes struck out Juan Soto three consecutive times on Tuesday, but that shouldn’t have any indication of their success during the regular season.

READ MORE: Yankees are still having conversations about adding pitching

Financial Considerations and Market Dynamics

Securing Snell would require the Yankees to exceed the third luxury tax threshold, incurring a significant penalty, a move they’ve historically been reluctant to make under managing partner Hal Steinbrenner’s stewardship. In contrast to Mets owner Steve Cohen’s willingness to surpass financial boundaries, the Yankees have maintained a more conservative fiscal stance, even when considering high-caliber talents like Yoshinobu Yamamoto.

At 31, Snell seeks a long-term deal, a commitment compounded by his limited history of pitching over 130 innings and coming off a career-highlight season with an NL Cy Young award. However, the Yanks are cautious, focusing on Snell’s future projections rather than his past accomplishments, amidst concerns that his performance might regress in 2024.

A Patient Approach

With the market contracting, Cashman’s strategy appears to be one of patience, awaiting a potential decrease in Snell’s asking price rather than hastily committing to a substantial contract. This approach reflects a broader understanding of the team’s current financial constraints and strategic priorities, aiming to balance immediate competitive needs with long-term organizational health.

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