Within the last week, it was reported the New York Yankees were all but officially out on Blake Snell after having done their homework on the left-hander. Not sure what that homework was, but it seemed as if the front office wasn't going to chase a big name just for the sake of it after losing out on Yoshinobu Yamamoto.
Turns out, the new year might've had Brian Cashman and Co. re-thinking their plans. Though the rotation isn't necessarily in bad shape heading into 2024, it certainly needs more help for stability and contention purposes.
Snell does carry some concerns with longevity and health, but the man has won two Cy Young awards and has two current fans on the Yankees that wield a ton of influence: Aaron Judge and Gerrit Cole.
You saw Judge's Instagram post early on in the 2023 campaign. He's friends with Snell. As for Cole, well, the soft-spoken ace is apparently a fan of the lefty, too.
In Jon Heyman's latest column for the New York Post, Cole would reportedly be "all for it" if the Yankees signed Snell, who is now being "considered" by the Bombers.
Latest Blake Snell buzz suggest Yankees' stars have chance to strong-arm Cashman
That's not all, either. Per MassLive.com, there's belief a short-term, high AAV contract with opt outs might end up being Snell's fate, especially since his market seems to be jam-packed with win-now World Series contenders. His injury history, age and having never thrown more than 181 innings in a season have likely factored into teams backing off of a massive long-term deal with the veteran.
A shorter-term deal would definitely fit the Yankees' plans. Though Yamamoto seemed to be the exception this offseason, New York's willingness to dole out megadeals has dwindled in this modern era. They acquired Giancarlo Stanton's contract in a trade, which restricted their spending. Then they splurged on Gerrit Cole because they had no choice. And then Aaron Judge backed them into a corner after an historic 2022 season.
The last time the Yankees paid an outside free agent like that? Uh ... Masahiro Tanaka? The colossally stupid Aroldis Chapman contract? Take your pick.
Nonetheless, the Yankees clearly earmarked $300+ million in free agency spending when they were in the Yamamoto sweepstakes until the end. Though Snell isn't worth that money, he warrants attention because of his pedigree, ability to pitch in the playoffs, and the fact he's liked by two of the most important Yankees on the current roster. And if he can only go five or six innings comfortably, so be it. That's a poor fit for some rosters, but a fine fate for the Yankees, given their propensity to build bullpens.
Is it time for Judge and Cole to get in the front office's ear once again? Judge has seemingly been successful, but Cole could use redemption after the Josh Donaldson acquisition and Jordan Montgomery/Michael King departures that he probably wasn't the biggest fan of.