Why Scott Boras can't get Yankees to bite on Bellinger-type deal for Snell

Scott Boras has the right idea for a Blake Snell contract, but he's selling it to the wrong team.

Colorado Rockies v San Diego Padres
Colorado Rockies v San Diego Padres / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages
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Scott Boras has taken his clients in free agency up to the end of the line. We're several Spring Training games in for most teams and four of his high-profile clients are still on the open market.

Boras's hold-out may not have panned out exactly how he wanted, but it's still working relatively well. For Cody Bellinger, who signed late Saturday night with the Cubs, he earned him an $80 million, three year deal that gives him more money in the first and second year as well as player options to opt-out of the deal and jump into free agency.

It's a huge win for the player at this stage in free agency, and could be a big win for the team as well in the right circumstance.

Boras is trying to pitch that idea to the Yankees relative to 2023 NL Cy Young winner Blake Snell, but they're the wrong team to be pitching that to.

Yankees aren't as enamored with "bridge deal" because of salary tax

While a team like the Cubs might look at a bridge deal that Cody Bellinger signed and appreciate the idea, a team like the Yankees, already heavy-spenders with a payroll at $290 million with a $42 million tax bill already, won't be as interested.

Jon Heyman laid out why in his reporting on Tuesday:


Snell’s agent, Scott Boras, is the latest to suggest an alternate concept, which was a shorter deal with higher AAVs (salaries) plus opt-outs, much like Cody Bellinger just did with the Cubs. However, the Yankees don’t believe that works for them because the higher AAV would mean a higher tax, and opt-outs could mean surrendering draft choices for a short-time star.


For the Yankees, an advanced AAV at the front of the contract actually hurts them, because they wind up paying way more than the contract itself in tax. A $30 million year for Bellinger, just for instance, would have cost the Yankees $63 million between the money paid to the player and the tax.

So, Boras may need to come up with another creative solution to get Snell in Pinstripes, or take the bridge deal solution to another team. Los Angeles Angels, anyone?

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