MLB Rumors: Yankees run into a huge roadblock in Blake Snell pursuit

The New York Yankees are interested in free agent Blake Snell, but one signing option can be ruled out.

Sep 19, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) reacts
Sep 19, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) reacts / Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
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The New York Yankees were accused in recent years of shying away from big-name players in free agency and on the trading block. This offseason, the Yankees traded for superstar Juan Soto, former rival Alex Verdugo, and reliable defender Trent Grisham to fill out their outfield depth alongside Aaron Judge. That, and they signed former Toronto Blue Jays ace Marcus Stroman to fill out their starting rotation.

Even with those moves, there's a belief that the Yankees have another big move in them. On Sunday, USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported that the Yankees are waiting for San Diego Padres starting pitcher and 2023 National League Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell's asking price to drop on a long-term deal or if he would be willing to accept a short-term contract, "in excess of $35 million a year."

In regard to a short-term deal, The Athletic's Brendan Kuty and Chris Kirschner (subscription required) detailed why a short-term deal for any of the top remaining free agents is unlikely for the Yankees.

Yankees unlikely to sign Blake Snell to short-term contract due to competitive balance tax

Sources told Kuty and Kirschner that "big-money, shorter-term deals" don't make sense for the Yankees due to the competitive balance tax (CBT). The Yankees' current CBT payroll is above the $297 million tier. That means they will have to pay 110 percent of every dollar spent over that threshold. An example they provide is that if the Yankees offered Snell a one-year, $40 million deal, they would have to pay $44 million in taxes as well, bringing the total to $84 million.

In all likelihood, the Yankees' best chances of signing Snell would be on a long-term deal, given the amount of taxes they would have to pay on a one-year deal in 2024.

Nightengale reports that the Yankees initially offered Snell a five-year, $150 million contract before they signed Marcus Stroman back in mid-January. Nightengale also notes that the Yankees still have "serious interest" in Snell.

Kuty and Kirschner report that while they didn't know the exact terms of the Yankees' offer, it did contain no opt-outs.

MLB.com's Mark Feisnand reported on Monday that the Yankees had an offer on the table for Snell, but it's unknown if it's the same offer that was made before the Stroman signing or not. Feisnand does note, however, that the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Angels "remain possibilities."

It's unknown when Snell could sign with a team, as spring training is underway. But when it comes to the Yankees, a shorter-term deal doesn't feel like a feasible option based on the report from The Athletic.

5 New York Yankees who could be traded before Opening Day. 5 New York Yankees who could be traded before Opening Day. dark. Next