Yankees Rumors: Latest free agency update rules out Blake Snell?

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox - Game Two
New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox - Game Two / Winslow Townson/GettyImages

Despite what the darkest corners of complaint-driven Twitter will tell you, the New York Yankees have done a great deal this offseason, bringing in a future Hall of Famer in Juan Soto to balance the lineup. If you're looking for lineup balance, that's, uh, one way to do it.

Additionally, the Yankees addressed their primary deficiency -- left-handed bats, as well as offense in general -- by importing Alex Verdugo and Trent Grisham, an ancillary part of the Soto trade. These might not be the players who would've been chosen via majority rule, and Giancarlo Stanton's contract might remain a hindrance for the foreseeable future, but ... objectively ... change happened here. More than you can say about the Baltimore Orioles.

The same goes for the rotation, though the Yankees' maneuvers there have been significantly less satisfying. The team tried to toss money at Japanese import Yoshinobu Yamamoto, but not everybody wants to wear the pinstripes. Some would rather steal them as an ill-gotten gift. Once that plan was foiled, the Yankees looked around at the rest of the market, thumbed their noses at the prices, and made sure they could sign Marcus Stroman before the window closed entirely. He might not be the upgrade everyone was seeking, but he certainly is an upgrade, as well as someone who wants to be here.

So, what's next? The Yankees reportedly made an offer to Blake Snell, but found his going rate unappealing. He might be seeking $270 million, and if he is, no one else is seeking his contact information until that number drops. Could the two sides reconvene, though, even with a full five-man rotation currently set (Gerrit Cole, Carlos Rodón, Stroman, Nestor Cortes Jr., Clarke Schmidt)? Would the Yankees consider trading infield depth (Oswald Peraza, Gleyber Torres) for controllable starting pitching from, say, the Mariners or Marlins?

Don't count on it, according to Yankees insider Bryan Hoch. The team's rotation and lineup are reportedly "set," leaving the bullpen as the remaining Upgrade Zone prior to spring training.

Yankees Free Agency Needs: Rotation, Lineup set. It's all bullpen rumors.

To Brian Cashman's credit, he said in his press availability Thursday that he would be open to reinforcing the rotation, stating, "I think we have a good rotation if everything goes right, which we know is something we don't want to lay back and count on." That said, there's a difference between reinforcing things and splurging for Snell, and the bullpen is clearly the current focus.

According to Hoch, the team has "maintained contact" with Wandy Peralta's reps. Though the left-hander's ceiling might be falling slightly and he battled the Regression Monster successfully in 2023, his FIP reached dangerous levels (5.05, mostly due to an abundance of walks). Peralta was a beloved Yankee, but remains a risk as he ages. Still, at the right price and with the right responsibilities, a reunion would make sense. The Yankees reportedly haven't given up on the idea of Keynan Middleton, either, the righty they acquired at last year's deadline just to say they did something.

Externally, the Yankees have been connected to hot commodity right-hander Robert Stephenson, resurrected by the Rays just before free agency. Josh Hader and Hector Neris seem less likely; Hader wants to set relief contract records, and Jack Curry made it clear he didn't see a fit for Neris on Wednesday's episode of YES Hot Stove.

Anticipate an addition in the back end, but potentially not an overwhelmingly expensive one. Snell? Count him out. But haven't they done enough already?

Nah, they haven't. You're right. They almost have, but they haven't quite.