Snell posted an MLB-best 2.25 ERA while also leading baseball in walks. He pitched a career-high 180 innings and struck out 234 hitters, all while allowing just 115 hits.
The Yankees also know Snell from his five years pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays. The big lefty won his first Cy Young trophy with Tampa Bay in 2018. Even with the high walks, the man clearly knows how to pitch.
Snell seems an odd fit as a Yankee. Heyman also notes the Bronx Bombers are still keeping tabs on Jordan Montgomery. However, Snell and his two Cy Youngs joining reigning AL winner Gerrit Cole in the same rotation is almost too good to be true.
Gerrit Cole. Blake Snell. Carlos Rodon. Then maybe Nestor Cortes and Clarke Schmidt. That’s a solid-looking rotation, even if it leaves the Yankees with three lefties.
Some may say the Yankees shouldn’t pursue him for whatever reason. Namely the walks and the AL East being a tough division, plus the stadium. Snell also owns a 5.77 ERA in 12 career starts in the Bronx.
Lucky for the Yankees, Snell earned his second Cy Young thanks to a complete change in his pitch selection. He still relied heavily on his fastball, about 48.6% of the time, but his curveball use jumped to 19.8%, up from 15.1% in 2022. All the more exciting is Snell ramped up use of his changeup while letting his slider take a back seat.
Solid fastball velocity combined with breaking pitches that induce a lot of whiffs? Plus the rest of the division having a fairly quiet offseason? Maybe the Yankees and Blake Snell are a better match than we realize.
Snell can demand over $200 million, and the Yankees’ current payroll is already projected at $273 million. Will Hal Steinbrenner let Brian Cashman offer a big enough check?
Montgomery may be the better signing just on pure familiarity, but even so. The Yankees would be smart to engage with Snell’s agent and see where things stand.