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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

Perspectives: Hello? Goodbye!

by Paul Semendinger

March 6, 2024

***

Don't get me wrong. I'd love for the Yankees to acquire another starting pitcher through free agency.


Well, maybe I should rephrase that...


I would have loved for the Yankees to acquire another starting pitcher through free agency. But that was weeks ago.

***

Quick aside:


The first song I considered when writing this peiece was one of Julian Lennon's few hits, Too Late for Goodbyes. I've always liked that song. (Valotte, though, was, in my opinion, always the better song.)


Then, of course, I thought of the Beatles' song, Hello Goodbye.


But, then, finally, I remembered the best song to accompany this piece. Good old Foreigner.

***

We're (just about) a week into March. The optimal time for a free agent pitcher to sign with a team would have been weeks ago.


It got late early. (Well, it didn't, really. It got late right on time, it's just that ol' Blake Snell and his agent overvalued his worth (at least in terms of years and dollars in 2024) and he turned down what was reported to be a nice offer from the Yankees.


Sometimes the money grab doesn't work. (Isn't Greed one of the Seven Deadly Sins?)


Snell got greedy. Boras got greedy. And they're both sitting there looking foolish. Each of them. And both of them. And baseball looks bad too. The sport doesn't do itself any favors when the rules and the procedures in place hurt the opportunities for the reigning (two-time) Cy Young Award winner to find a team to play for. (It has been said that the draft pick penalties have discouraged teams from bidding on some free agents.)


In whatever look, the situation isn't good.


A start pitcher has no team.

***

Meanwhile, thus far in Yankees' camp, the starting pitchers seem healthy. The Yankees have five good to great arms. At this moment, they don't need Blake Snell.


And at this moment, I don't want him.


I don't want a starting pitcher who is weeks behind schedule.


I don't want a starting pitcher who will only have a short time with his catchers, pitching coach, and starting colleagues before the season arrives. THe time acclimate was weeks ago, not the rest of the team ramps up for Opening Day.


I don't want a guy who will feel he himself has to ramp-up quickly to get with the club (a sure fire ticket for an injury).


I don't want a guy who will begin the season remaining at the Spring Training complex in Tampa while the rest of team begins its (hopeful) march to the playoffs.

***

Blake Snell could have signed a contract in November. Or December. He could have signed in January, or February. He hasn't signed (yet) in March.


Scott Boras could have gotten a contract for Blake Snell in any of those months.


Blake Snell, seeing the writing on the wall, could have insisted that his agent get him a deal. He didn't.


Blake Snell could have fired his agent. He didn't.


Some things might do better with age. A fine wine, for example.


Some things never age - like a Twinkee.


But starting pitchers have a clock. And the clock is supposed to start ticking in mid-February with a team and a coach and all of that. Ramping up in March just isn't the same.


At all.


It made sense for the Yankees to sign Blake Snell weeks ago. I don't think it makes as much sense now.

***

But, what if the Yankees need a starting pitcher once the season begins, or as the season progresses?


IF Jasson Dominguez comes back healthy and IF Jasson Dominguez proves he's ready for the Yankees and IF Jasson Dominguez does reasonably well once he's back in the big leagues,


THEN


The Yankees will have a glut of outfielders - too many, in fact. Alex Verdugo, Trent Grisham, Aaron Judge, Juan Soto, and Jasson Dominguez can't all co-exist at the same time and be at the tops of their games. It's too many players. Also in that mix are Everson Pereira and Giancarlo Stanton.


The Yankees, if that happens (and if they're all healthy and performing), will be able, if the need arrives, to trade for a starting pitcher. They will be dealing from strength in outfielders. I'm sure if this all happens, a strong starter will be available by then.


Heck, it might even be Blake Snell who will probably get a short contract with an opt-out after the first year anyway. If he's pitching well in June or July, I might consider him then. But at this point, he needs too much time with the team to get ready and there isn't enough.


Right now, to start the season, my answer to Blake Snell is , "Nope. We don't need you right now. You're had your chance and you blew it."


It's Late. It's simply too late. Sorry pal.

***

Another aside - Queen's News of the World is an outstanding album - often overlooked, it's always been one of my favorites.

***

To all writers, bloggers, sportcasters, radio people, TV people, news people... whoever. Thank you for reading this. I appreciate it. I'm glad you know that you can come to SSTN for great perspectives, articles, thoughts, and more. If you use or borrow our ideas, it's only right to give credit to the authors and this site. Thanks.



27 Comments


Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Mar 07

I wanted the Yankees to acquire Blake Snell, even after they signed Marcus Stroman. But I have been saying all along, as soon as pitchers and catchers reported, I wanted him less, and then, once the Exhibition Games started, I didn't want him at all. And the deeper into Spring Training we go, the less desirable he is becoming for the exact reasons you stated.


There has been talk that the Red Sox, with the likely season-ending injury of their ONE big pickup this off season, Lucas Giolito, will now, all of a sudden, be going gung-ho to sign Jordan Montgomery. Well, I feel the same way now about Montgomery as I feel about Snell, how the later into Sprin…


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Cary Greene
Cary Greene
Mar 07

The moment the Yankees signed. Marcus Stroman, that put an end to any further free agent signings. I haven't even remotely entertained the idea of a Snell or a Montgomery to the Yankees since. We all know how it works. We know how the drill goes. Steinbrenner only goes so high and given that he has the highest payroll in Major League baseball already, I think it's fair to say he's gone high enough. Brian Cashman. If you're listening or reading, it's time for you to create a championship brother. You are getting less out of more than any GM and baseball. Please end the drought!

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fuster
Mar 07
Replying to

Cashman should get busy and get pitching from Miami


and an infielder .... from Pennsylvania

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fantasyfb3313
Mar 06

ONE HUNDRED, PERCENT with you on Snell. I actually like Snell, but there are just too many things that can go wrong with a pitcher coming to a new team at this time of year. it is hard enough getting a late start even when you know the organization and they know you, but coming to a new team where player and coaches and training staff know little to nothing about each other?? seems like a lot of risk, even more for a team that is theoretically trying to do a better job of having a healthy roster


favorite band BY FAR The Eagles and they do just so happen to have the #1 and #3 selling albums of all…


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fantasyfb3313
Mar 07
Replying to

I know that Paul and I are close in age. I graduated in 84. I loved music when i was younger too, but as I recall, I did not go to my first concert until after i graduated- so obviously If the Eagles had actually waited for hell to freeze over before playing together again, I like you, would have been unable to see them. WOW am I THANKFUL they did not keep that promise!!!! If it was possible for me I would have spent these last months being a traveling Eagles groupie going to every stop on the supposed final tour. Sadly, I think there is a chance that they actually will hang their guitars up, but i …

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etbkarate
Mar 06

Boros cost Michael Conforto $$ millions 2 years ago. It's surprising that players don't step in more often.

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Alan B.
Alan B.
Mar 06

As much as we all would like to think that the agent works for the player, or that thee Player's Union has his back, it's a lot more complicated. The agent for selfish reasons wants the best contract for his guy, not so much for him, but to show others. 'THIS IS WHAT I CAN DO FOR YOU TOO IF YOU GIVE ME THAT CHANCE', to the union wanting to always move for the next salary benchmark. That is how ARod ended up playing 3B for the Yankees in 2004, instead of SS for the Red Sox that year. So, while a guy like Snell or Bellinger may want to get a deal done, say by, ah, January 5,…


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Melfman1
Melfman1
Mar 07
Replying to

In my opinion, Stanton has until Domínguez is healthy and hitting/fielding in the minors (whether that be the All-Star break or before) to prove that he’s worthy of a roster spot. If he starts off this year the way he finished last, I think the organization will have no choice but to jettison him from the roster. That will clear up the spot for Dominguez.

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