“Speculation Surfaces: Yankees’ Prospects with Blake Snell Uncertain, Insider Reveals”

The New York Yankees continue to look for upgrades to the pitching staff. Brian Cash man landed Marcus Stroman on a two-year, $37 million deal, but the Yankees subsequently failed to land top relievers, such as Josh Hader and Hector Neris. And, while Stroman is a two-time All-Star, he is far from stable as the No. 2 arm behind Gerrit Cole.

New York’s pitching staff is essentially one long guessing game at this point. We know what Carlos Rodon and Nestor Cortes are capable of when healthy and locked in, but “healthy and locked in” did not describe either former All-Star in 2023. The Yankees struggled to consistently keep offenses at bay, except for when Cole was on the mound. New York’s title bid, strengthened by their off season additions on offense, won’t be at maximum strength until the Yankees acquire at least one more impact starter.

Naturally, San Diego Padres ace Blake Snell — the reigning NL Cy Young winner and the most coveted arm left in free agency — is on the mind of every Yankees fan. New York is reportedly the only team to offer Snell a contract. Unfortunately, the two sides were about four years and $120 million apart. According to the latest news from Jon Heyman of the New York Post, it doesn’t sound like much progress has been made.

“I’m not so sure at this point,” says Heyman in response to the possibility that New York and Snell are in open dialogue.

While there is obvious interest from the Yankees, Snell’s camp is so far removed from reality with their demands that it could be unreconcilable. Snell is bound to garner interest from other clubs, with the Mariners, Giants, and Red Sox profiling as particularly strong possibilities. The Yankees have the financial firepower to get on Snell’s level — or at least closer to it — but that’s not going to happen if New York doesn’t believe Snell is worth it. The Yankees capped their offer to Yoshinobu Yamamoto at $300 million and missed out. New York tends to draw a line and never cross it.

Snell is a hotly debated figure in the free agency discourse. He just won his second Cy Young award, pitching 180.0 innings and leading the NL in ERA (2.25). Unfortunately, Snell also led the NL in walks (99) and he has a long track record of pesky injuries. The last time he pitched more than 130 innings was 2018, his first Cy Young campaign. In the four seasons in between, Snell’s ERA eclipsed 4.00 twice. Consistency and availability are not traditionally Snell’s strengths.

On the other hand, he is plainly one of the best pitchers in baseball at full capacity. The Yankees are built to relieve pressure on Snell as the No. 2 starter while supporting him with a great offense. Snell, meanwhile, tends to win battles by overpowering the opposition. He can mitigate the Yankees’ porous defense with his strikeout capacity.

It’s all hypothetical for now, however, and the odds don’t look great. The Yankees should continue to circle Snell, especially if the price drops closer to spring training, but we expect the 31-year-old to consider all his options and take the best offer available — even if it’s from a less prestigious franchise.

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