Yankees’ stance on Blake Snell ‘softening’ with financial concerns

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

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner stated on Thursday that the team is already above the $300 million luxury tax threshold, indicating any other signings would include a 110% tax. This is otherwise known as the Steve Cohen tax, and the Yankees have already committed significant financial resources toward a roster that should be a World Series contender in 2024.

Despite rumors over the past few weeks that general manager Brian Cashman was trying to work out a potential deal with starting pitcher Blake Snell, that doesn’t seem to be too realistic any longer, especially since the 2023 NL Cy Young award winner is holding out for maximum money.

The Yankees were willing to push to six years but offered substantially less than he wanted on the open market, according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post.

Yankees’ Financial Strategy and Luxury Tax Implications

Steinbrenner did indicate that the Yankees are always looking for more talent and would consider anything Cashman brings to his desk. Still, at Snell’s price point, the Yankees would be paying double unless they were able to move a big contract and free up salary space.

“The short-term thought might be tough for the Yankees since a higher average annual value adds luxury-tax money, and they’d still be giving up draft choices,” Heyman wrote.

The Yankees would love to have a player like Snell, who hosted a 2.25 ERA over 180 innings last season. Theoretically, the team could use a method similar to that used by the Los Angeles Dodgers to construct Shohei Ohtani’s deal, deferring almost all of it until the end of the contract.

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Exploring Alternatives and Team Strategy

Theoretically, the Yankees could keep the luxury tax lower by executing a similar strategy, but it doesn’t seem as though they want to push that into the future, even if it means pairing the Cy Young award winners at the top of their rotation this upcoming season.

The more likely scenario is a trade acquisition, but the Yankees won’t be chomping at the bits to execute a deal anytime soon. Their rotation projects to be a top-10 unit this upcoming season, barring injury. They can easily remain patient and wait until the summer trade deadline to add another arm unless Snell reduces his price tag significantly, allowing the Yankees to engage.

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