Yankees make new offer to NL Cy Young award-winning pitcher

mlb: miami marlins at san diego padres, blake snell, yankees
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

If the New York Yankees want to splash the cash a bit more than they have this off-season after acquiring Juan Soto, they could turn their attention to star pitcher Blake Snell on the free-agent market.

The Yankees have been interested in his services for months, even offering him a deal in the range of five years, $150 million, but the 2023 NL Cy Young award winner rejected quickly.

Yankees’ Offseason Strategy

Snell’s demands are somewhere in the nine-year, $270 million range, averaging $30 million per season for a pitcher that’s already 31. General Manager Brian Cashman isn’t going to bend the knee to those numbers, but he may be able to convince Snell to take a bit more every year for fewer years.

Snell’s Elite Season and Potential Fit

The Yankees acknowledge that they could use another star piece in the rotation, and Snell would be the perfect fit coming off an elite season and already buddies with Gerrit Cole, who won the AL Cy Young award. Snell pitched 180 innings for just the second time in his career, hosting a 2.25 ERA, 11.70 strikeouts per nine, an 86.7% left-on-base rate, and a 44.4% ground ball rate.

The Bombers would love to add a talent of his nature to a unit that is comprised of several players bouncing back from injury and featuring inconsistent arms. There are some red flags when it comes to Snell, notably a lack of longevity in some seasons and difficulty pushing past the fifth inning.

READ MORE: Yankees’ stud pitching prospects lighting up camp early

Cashman’s Calculated Moves

However, Snell featured several elite pitches last season, notably his curveball, changeup, and slider. His curveball, which he throws almost 20% of the time, produced a .076 batting average, including a 56.3% whiff rate and 33.5% put-away rate. That pitch produces 83% more horizontal movement than the average pitcher, inducing 12.6 inches of break. Even his four-seam fastball, averaging 95.5 mph, produces a .255 batting average, solid enough to support his other breaking pitches.

MLB: Colorado Rockies at San Diego Padres, yankees, blake snell
Sep 19, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) looks on from the dugout during the eighth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees would love to have his services, and Bob Nightingale of USA Today suggests that Cashman is waiting to see if Blake would agree to a short-term deal that averages more than $35 million per season.

The Yankees would make it worth Snell’s while, paying him more than his market price on a yearly basis to help smooth over concerns, but the deal would certainly be far shorter term. We are likely talking about a contract in the three-year, $110 million range rather than nine seasons, which is what the lefty arm is looking for after a dominant 2023 campaign.

Having missed out on Corbin Burnes via the trade market, Cashman may decide to wait and find another deal for a player like Shane Bieber or Dylan Cease if his price tag drops.

However, simply spending money is far preferable to trading away more prospects, especially talented ones like Spencer Jones. Jones has been frequently asked for by teams willing to trade starting pitchers, and Cashman has rejected those demands at every return.

For now, it seems more likely the Yankees will spend a bit of money on a short-term deal for a player like Snell than acquire an ace from another team like Cease.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: