No MLB agent has been more adept at getting his clients paid than Scott Boras, who never gives up and never gives in while searching for lucrative, long-term deals. Even if it means missing spring training. Even if it means creeping into unemployment.
But Boras has never had a set of four clients like Blake Snell, Cody Bellinger, Jordan Montgomery and Matt Chapman before. Each one is an excellent ball player. Montgomery and Chapman are probably a level below, one a No. 3 starter using a No. 1 starter's playbook, and the other a defensive wizard with too much swing-and-miss in his game. The other two, Snell and Bellinger, have superstar potential, but obviously flawed metrics or One Bad Thing (Snell's walks) holding them back.
Boras' playbook has never failed before, but he's been caretaking names like Bryce Harper and Xander Bogaerts. These days, he's working with a different set of clients, but playing by his own old-school rules. Through early February, he's struck out on all four accounts, though the Yankees certainly tried to save him when the calendar turned to 2024.
That's when they extended a reported $150 million offer to Blake Snell, an attempt to get the conversation moving if not to finish it entirely. Boras, reportedly, would not balk at the Yankees' proposal, continuing to insist that Snell's next contract "start with a two" (and rumors have repeatedly hinted Boras' camp has gone much further than that).
It's no fault of Snell's to hire Boras in the name of seeking the longest possible term of security. But it's Boras' fault to be painting with too wide a brush. He never should've dismissed the Yankees' offer outright, and now New York's five-man rotation is full (albeit full of question marks), while Snell is still dangling.
Yankees should have signed Blake Snell. Scott Boras blew it up.
Not saying Boras and Snell should've accepted $150 million on sight. Just saying it sounds like an interesting starting point, not something you wave away forcefully. Instead of winding up in Carlos Rodón's $162 million range, Snell and Boras rejected the Yankees' overtures so emphatically that New York wound up signing Marcus Stroman the same night the initial Snell offer hit the airwaves.
Who knows when it was actually floated? Maybe the Yankees just wanted to get some, "Hey, We Tried!" juice out in the open before making the fan base question reality with the Stroman contract.
Regardless, recent reports indicate that Snell and his bugaboo walk rate are still in the patience stage, just one week before pitchers and catchers report to spring training. The left-hander could've been among them, but instead is reportedly still batting around early conversations; the only confirmed formal offer in his inbox has still come from the Yankees.