It appears that reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell may be close to making a decision on his new team after SNY’s Andy Martino’s latest report.
Martino wrote that Snell has, “privately expressed an interest in playing for the Yankees.”
The feeling may be mutual, with the New York Post’s Jon Heyman reporting that the New York Yankees have also begun seriously considering signing Snell.
Since trading for Snell’s former Padre teammate Juan Soto earlier in the offseason, the Yankees have been uncharacteristically quiet. The Bronx Bombers are usually some of the highest spenders in free agency, but have not been able to sign any of the top available players so far.
The Yankees were reportedly Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s second choice behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. Super-utility Isaiah Kiner-Falefa chose to sign with the division-rival Toronto Blue Jays instead of returning to New York. The bullpen has also been a point of interest for the Yankees, who were reportedly interested in free agents Josh Hader and Jordan Hicks.
Snell would provide the Yankees with the best pitching duo in baseball alongside reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Gerrit Cole.
Last season, Snell became just the seventh player in baseball history to win a Cy Young in both leagues after earlier taking home the award in 2018 with the Rays, joining the same club as Gaylord Perry, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens, Roy Halladay and Max Scherzer.
Cy Young voting (28 out of 30 first place votes) in the fall showed how dominant Snell was this season. With a 14-9 record, he led NL starters in ERA (2.25), bWAR (6.0), ERA+ (182) and hits per nine innings (5.75). Snell also came in second in the NL with 234 strikeouts.
Despite the dominant numbers and the hardware, there are some concerns with Snell’s game. He issued 99 walks last year, the most in the Majors. Snell also has shown a consistent inability to pitch beyond the sixth inning. Last season, he averaged 5.2 innings per start and has only pitched over 150 innings a season twice in his career.
The Los Angeles Angels and San Francisco Giants are also both reportedly interested in Snell.
If the Yankees fail to sign Snell, Martino also linked them to free agent starter Jordan Montgomery, who they might quickly try to pivot to if Snell signs elsewhere.