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Yankees trying to reel in Blake Snell on a short-term deal, report says

Blake Snell Yankees rumors
Blake Snell (AP Photo/Mike McGinnis)

The New York Yankees appear to be making one last ditch effort at landing free agent Cy Young Award-winning lefthander Blake Snell.

USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported Sunday that the Bronx Bombers have extended a lucrative, short-term offer to Snell, one of the last remaining available stars on the free agent market as spring training gets underway in MLB.

Earlier in the offseason, the Yankees reportedly offered Snell a five-year deal worth about $150 million, but were turned down as Snell apparently sought a longer, more lucrative contract. The Yankees then turned and signed away Marcus Stroman from the Chicago Cubs, and Snell has not come close to finding the deal he’s reportedly looking for. 

According to Nightengale, the Yankees are now “waiting to see if his asking price drops on a long-term deal or if he agrees to take a short-term contract that could pay him in excess of $35 million a year.”

Snell won his second Cy Young Award last year despite being stuck on an underachieving San Diego Padres team, winning 14 games while pitching to a National League-best 2.25 ERA and striking out 234 batters in 180 innings pitched.

But Snell has never pitched more than 180.2 innings in a single season; the 2023 season was only the second time in his career that he pitched 180 innings in a campaign. Still, his mechanics alone make him among the most valuable starting pitchers in the game; despite walking a career-high 99 batters last year, he pitched to a WHIP of 1.189 (the lowest since his Cy Young-winning campaign with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2018) and his strikeouts-per-9 innings ratio was 11.9.

Adding Snell to the rotation would instantly make the Yankees competitors not just for a playoff spot, but also for a division title — and possibly much more than that in the postseason. Snell and defending American League Cy Young winner Gerrit Cole would make an imposing 1-2 punch at the top of the Yankee rotation, followed by newcomer Stroman and Carlos Rodon and Nestor Cortes, both of whom are looking to turn things around off injury-plagued seasons.

Meanwhile, the Yankees opened up a potential roster spot for Snell on Sunday with a trade that sent left-handed pitcher Matt Krook to the Baltimore Orioles for cash considerations. The 28-year-old journeyman Krook appeared in just four big league games for the Yankees last season, and didn’t impress — giving up 11 earned runs in just four innings for an ERA of 24.75.

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