There were rumors several days ago that the Yankees offered star free agent pitcher Blake Snell a long-term contract, but he had initially rejected the opening deal.
The rumored numbers were five years for $150 million, but Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported on Thursday that the actual deal was six years for $150 million, a $25 million per year salary. That contract could’ve included an out midway through, protecting the Yankees from over-investing in a 31-year-old pitcher who will likely regress coming off his best professional season.
The Yankees Would Obviously Love to Have Snell
Snell recently won the NL Cy Young award, hosting a 2.25 ERA over 180 innings and making 32 appearances. He struck out 11.70 batters per nine and hosted an 86.7% left-on-base rate and 44.4% ground ball rate. It is easy to digest those numbers and recognize how stellar they are, but he’s only pitched 180 innings twice in his career and hadn’t pitched over 130 innings since 2018 (prior to the 2023 season), leaving a significant risk on the table.
Snell rejected the offer, and it is possible he will come back begging for that same deal, which the Yankees feel is fair. That would come in under the deal they gave Carlos Rodon this past off-season, but Snell has the capacity to be a good starter and eventually transition into a quality bullpen piece if he struggles to maintain his innings and stamina.
It is a big risk, though, especially since the Bombers have already given out a number of bad contracts that have aged poorly as the years have gone by. They are better off saving the money and trying to land Corbin Burnes in free agency or bringing on Zack Wheeler on a shorter-term deal during the 2025 off-season.
General manager Brian Cashman is making the right choices, stopping himself from spending on aging players with uncertain futures. There’s no doubt that Snell immediately supports the rotation, but spending just to spend is not a good strategy, and he comes with plenty of red flags to consider.
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