Blake Snell Won’t Be a Yankee – Is There Anything Left in the Pinstripes Pitching Offseason?

Published 01/31/2024, 7:20 AM EST

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Heading into the offseason, I was pretty much the definition of pessimistic. But then, Cashman came through big time, snagging Juan Soto in a trade that flipped the script for me. Suddenly, I’m all in on optimism, maybe a tad too much for my own good. Despite the early rumors that had the New York Yankees out of the running for Blake Snell, I kept faith. But as of last night, it looks like that ship has sailed (though, honestly, I’m still holding out a bit of hope).

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So, if this door is actually closed, what does it mean for the Pinstripes? From where I stand, it’s a little bit of both. We’ve surprisingly ticked off some pretty big boxes, but as the offseason winds down, just like Boone, I’m expecting a move or too.

The Yankee dream of Blake Snell is over?

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The pursuit of Blake Snell by the Yankees hit a roadblock over financial terms, with a staggering $120 million and three years separating their visions. Snell set his sights on a nine-year deal worth $270 million, while the cautious Yankees pitched a six-year contract at $150 million. This eventually led the team to look beyond Snell, closing one chapter but perhaps opening another.

Amidst this, the Yankees’ attention has shifted towards Corbin Burnes of the Milwaukee Brewers, a move highlighted by Bob Klapisch as a viable and potentially even more promising option. With the funds initially earmarked for Snell now freed up, the Yankees find themselves in a position to potentially make a mid-season play for Burnes, whose contract demands and performance could offer a better fit for the pinstripes’ future.

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The dream of Snell and Gerrit Cole, the 2023 Cy Young duo, becoming the unstoppable Pinstripes duo now feels like just a dream. But maybe, come the trade deadline, we manage to add some more depth to our rotation, which looks reasonably potent already (Yes, even without Snell).

Rating the present New York Yankees rotation

Gerrit Cole’s leading the charge, as solid as ever. Fresh off a Cy Young win in 2023 and already getting nods for the 2024 Cy Young from a couple of MLB experts, he’s the rock of the lineup. But once you look past Cole, things get a bit shaky. Carlos Rodon didn’t have a great year, and Nestor Cortes Jr., despite shining as an All-Star in 2022, got hit hard by injuries last year. Marcus Stroman, though, has me hopeful.

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Missing out on Yoshinobu Yamamoto left a big gap in the Yankees’ rotation. As it stands, we’ve got Cole, Rodon, Cortes, and Clarke Schmidt. On paper, it might look solid, but reality tells a different story. Cole’s the only sure thing. Cortes and Rodon are trying to bounce back from rough injury-plagued seasons, and Schmidt’s still finding his feet. Luke Weaver and Cody Poteet are the only depth our rotation has, before diving into the farm.

What about the bullpen? Is skipper Boone happy?

In an interview with Talkin Yanks, Skipper Aaron Boone got candid about the Yankees rotation. His top three picks – Jonathan Loáisiga, Clay Holmes, and Tommy Kahnle. Additionally, Boone added, “I’m excited about what Ian Hamilton’s going to do. Obviously, he was huge for us last year. Scott Effross will be a little behind though. Hopefully, we do have a guy or two who you’re not necessarily thinking of that does emerge and becomes an important part of the bullpen.” 

Finally, with rather contagious optimism, Boone concluded the bullpen segment by saying, “We’re excited about a lot of the pieces that can hopefully impact us and hopefully, there’s another move to make that’ll fortify that pen a little bit.”

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Notably, the New York Yankees claimed lefty reliever Matt Gage from the Houston Astros. In a relatively short, two-season-long career, Gage has made 21 appearances and recorded a career ERA at an economical 1.83 in 19.2 innings pitched.

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So far, what is your opinion on the New York Yankees’ pitching strength? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Written by:

Mohsin Baldiwala

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Mohsin Baldiwala, an experienced MLB writer at EssentiallySports, holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications with a minor in public policy. His journey into the heart of baseball is as unique as it is charming, taking root in the quirky universe of 'Seinfeld.' It was through the endearingly hapless George Costanza, a character with his own comedic ties to the New York Yankees, that Mohsin first glimpsed the allure of the storied franchise.
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