Yankees have ‘dabbled’ in sweepstakes for two-time Cy Young winner in free agency

MLB: San Diego Padres at San Francisco Giants
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The Yankees have been linked to Blake Snell throughout the offseason, with their union in free agency seeming unlikely due to his contract demands. Jack Curry mentioned on Hot Stove that he does not foresee the Yankees signing the two-time Cy Young winner, and all signs would indicate that he’ll sign elsewhere. When they signed Marcus Stroman to a two-year $37 million deal a couple of weeks ago, it was apparent that the team had pivoted from the top of the free agent market, but Snell has remained on the market.

According to Jeff Passan, both the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels have ‘dabbled’ in the sweepstakes for the 32-year-old starter, keeping an unlikely dream afloat.

Yankees Remain Unlikely Suitors for Blake Snell

MLB: San Diego Padres at San Francisco Giants, yankees
Sep 25, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) pitches during the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Passan floated the idea that some of the top free agents on the market could opt for shorter-term deals with high AAVs, but he also mentioned that Blake Snell would be an unlikely candidate for that kind of deal. Coming off of a Cy Young season, what else could he do to rebound his value? Unless the projections for teams change with a second season of excellent play, Snell would be wise to take the best long-term deal on the table, and all signs are pointing to the Angels being that team.

They’re involved in the sweepstakes for Blake Snell, and unlike the Yankees, haven’t made a notable addition to their rotation, which they could use after losing their ace Shohei Ohtani to the Dodgers. Cody Bellinger is another name they’re attached to as well, and they may be the only team willing to make a significant enough offer for Blake Snell. It remains unclear whether the Yankees would even have an interest in sparking up conversations with the left-hander again as if he were open to a short-term deal, one would imagine other teams would get involved.

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Chicago Cubs, yankees, marcus stroman
Jul 31, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (0) pitches during the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Inking Marcus Stroman to the aforementioned two-year deal in free agency seemed as their indication that the rotation was set, as Matt Blake even mentioned that he didn’t think they needed another starter. An opportunity to add Blake Snell on a short-term deal would be something that the Yankees would have to explore, but the lack of smoke on that front from reporters would indicate that Scott Boras isn’t budging on his desire to get Snell a big-time contract.

Furthermore, why would any pitcher tie themselves to a long-term deal with the Los Angeles Angels considering their ineptitude over the past decade? They failed to make the postseason or even finish above .500 with Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout together, and the incompetence in the organization has become well-known in public and industry circles as well. It’s unclear whether a player like Snell, who has yet to win a World Series title, would choose to settle on a long-term deal, but this is all speculatory talk.

MLB: New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers
Aug 29, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Wandy Peralta (58) pitches in the eighth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees do have a serious interest in acquiring a reliever however, and it’s likely to be a familiar face returning to the Bronx, as Jack Curry reported that they’re not likely to land Hector Neris. New York has remained engaged in conversations with both Keynan Middleton and Wandy Peralta, as the Yankees look to shore up their bullpen ahead of Spring Training.

An already formidable unit can always get better, as last year’s bullpen finished with the best ERA in baseball (3.34) and they’re likely to run back another stellar group in 2024. The return of an arm like Middleton or Peralta could give them a wider array of bullpen talent to shut down the final innings of a game and also keep the bullpen fresh by mixing up who comes into a game on a certain night, preventing overuse.

It’s likely that the Yankees have at least one more notable move up their sleeve, although it’s likely not Blake Snell, barring a sudden shift in Scott Boras’ demands.