Yankees made a late push for NL Cy Young Award winner before Giants scooped him up

MLB: Colorado Rockies at San Diego Padres, new york yankees
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees have been scouring the market for pitching additions, with Gerrit Cole expected to miss several months rehabilitating from an elbow injury. The team had linked with Michael Lorenzen as a potential alternative, but he doesn’t move the needle much compared to some of their young prospects.

Will Warren is expected to secure a back-end rotation spot, and the Yankees don’t want to spend money on Lorenzen, who’s pitched over 150 innings just once in his career.

However, the San Francisco Giants swooped in and landed Blake Snell on a two-year, $62-million deal on Monday, leaving the Yankees in the dust but for a good reason. Since the Bombers are already over the $300 million luxury tax threshold, any contract they add will have a 110% tax included.

Essentially, that means Snell at $31 million per season would actually be more than $60 million, something that general manager Brian Cashman has been trying to avoid. Clearly, they’ve been resistant to cross the $30 million threshold, and while the Yankees were involved in the sweepstakes, Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported that the front office simply couldn’t get past the 110% tax.

The Yankees Will Have to Survive With What They Have

Obviously, it would’ve been great to add Snell to the equation, a 31-year-old coming off an NL Cy Young award-winning performance. He tossed 180 innings last season, hosting a 2.25 ERA, 11.70 strikeouts per nine, an 86.7% left-on-base rate, and a 44.4% ground ball rate. He would’ve helped stifle any issues that popped up with rehabilitating. Still, the Yankees will have to roll with what they have and hope the addition of Juan Soto contributes enough offense to cover up any blemishes.

Nonetheless, at least Cole will return at some point in 2024 and should get back to full strength around the All-Star break. In addition, the team has plenty of prospects that can try to flip at the trade deadline over the summer, so they don’t necessarily have to be aggressive or reactionary to the injury news.

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