The New York Yankees have been relentlessly effective on both sides of the ball in 2022, a revolution you can thank the coaching staff for. Led by Matt Blake on the bump and Dillon Lawson in the cages, the Yankees have managed to overhaul their programs, rejuvenate individual players and set themselves up for extended (and well-respected) success for years to come.
Naturally, the Bombers now have to worry about sharks in the water. After all, doesn’t everybody want a piece of this? Sometimes, someone is willing to offer more money to import an architect (look at what the Yankees did in poaching Blake from Cleveland), while the team that started it all is left hoping their infrastructure holds.
These external threats will come not only from the rest of MLB, but apparently from the college ranks, too.
Twins pitching coach Wes Johnson set a strange precedent over the weekend when he bolted — in the middle of the campaign! — for a pitching coach job at LSU. Not a promotion in title. Not even a promotion in salary — initial reports indicated Johnson was set to double his money in Louisiana, but he reportedly actually downgraded from ~$400,000 to $380,000 annually.
But the Twins found out on the plane to Cleveland, and just like that, the man who guided a first-place staff this season is gone at the end of the next series. And gone to college.
So … is there a chance someone lures Blake to revamp their collegiate program with the promise of a heftier monetary offer?
At least Blake’s contract with the Yankees isn’t up anytime so–sorry, what’s that? Oh, boy.
Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake contract details: expires after 2022
Show of hands, who knew Blake’s contract was expiring? And who’s confident the Yankees could continue executing their organizational pitching plan if the mastermind chased the money elsewhere?
Add “random college baseball programs poaching top MLB coaching talent by offering more cash” to the Worry List, right behind Locusts and Rotation Injuries. Even if it’s not a collegiate jump that’s in Blake’s future, and even if Johnson’s circumstances are more unique than initially reported (he clearly had no interest in leaving his family to be around the Twins), this story still served as an important reminder that Blake isn’t secured long-term.
How much is Blake currently making with the Yankees? No one on the internet seems to know, but it’s clearly not enough for the change he’s helped create. After 2022, the Yanks have to let Blake know they’re serious about him.
Coupled with the Aaron Judge negotiations, fans might be in for a wild ride they never could’ve expected.