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  • E.J. Fagan

What Could a Blake Snell Contract Look Like?

by EJ Fagan

February 29, 2024

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NOTE: The following comes from EJ Fagan's substack page and is shared with permission.


Please check out EJ's substack page for more great articles.

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Blake Snell rumors are heating up. This feels real.


Earlier in the offseason, I wrote that I didn’t want to sign Blake Snell at his asking price. I think he’s a bit overrated and won’t age well. Still, he’s a pretty good pitcher. I wrote then and still believe that he would be a good addition if the Yankees can get a short term deal.


The problem is the luxury tax. The Yankees will pay a 110% tax on any new spending. That makes a high-AAV, short term deal very expensive. A one year, $30 million deal for Snell would marginally cost $63 million. Maybe the Steinbrenners are happy to pay that cost, but I’m skeptical.


Let’s assume that they aren’t. Bellinger’s deal is structured as $30 million in 2024 and 2025, with opt outs after each season, and $20 million in 2026. The luxury tax hit is $26 million, or $55 million to the Yankees.


Could we lower that AAV? I bet the Yankees could. In fact, I’m going to make a prediction. Snell signs the following contract:


  • 2024: $30 million, opt out

  • 2025: $20 million, opt out

  • 2026: $20 million

  • $2027: $20 million

  • 2028: $15 million

  • 2029: $15 million

The deal would guarantee Snell $120 million. It’s AAV is $20 million. The Yankees would pay Snell’s $30 million salary in 2025, plus $22 million. Snell is strongly encouraged to opt out after the 2024 season, but is guaranteed a big payday if something goes wrong.


It’s effectively a one year deal with some insurance for Snell. If he’s an ace again, Snell could go out and ask for a long term contract.


Signing Snell would be a BFD. Just look at his Statcast page:




That’s pretty darn elite. Snell would cement the 2024 Yankee rotation as the best in the American League. And all he costs is money.

9 Comments


Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Feb 29

IF the Yankees REALLY want Blake Snell, they can always try for a DEFERRED payment contract like the one that Shohei Ohtani agreed to with the Dodgers. Not sure if Boras will go for something like that, but that would allow the Yankees to fit Snell into their budget, but they would have to deal with lots of big payments to him well into future, but not as high for now.

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etbkarate
Feb 29

The luxury tax is not going away, and is the biggest obstacle in the snell situation. Anything is possible, but id be shocked if they aquired him without moving another contract.

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Len
Len
Feb 29

George would have signed him in a minute...and Bellinger as well, no matter the cost. That's why they won back then.

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sfs1944
Feb 29
Replying to

Absolutely correct. George loved the Yankees and all he wanted to do was win. I will restate it Hal is a business man not a baseball man. George was both however concerning his Yankees they came first

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Alan B.
Alan B.
Feb 29

Why are we still talking about this joker? Even as a 1 year, $20M guaranteed this guy will probably be overpaid. At least that's what his career stats say.


He has over 5 and half seasons of pitching besides his 2 Cy Young seasons. All his numbers were truly off the chart incredibly in 2018 (Cy1), but his numbers in 2023 (Cy2), were not so much off his norm, except for the ERA.


His WHIP was virtually the same in 2022 as it was in 2023. 2023 beat it by only .01. Stranding the runners was the key, at that number itself was off the charts in 2023. Care to pay/bet that 2024 will be the same as 2023?…


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Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Feb 29
Replying to

Schmidt is actually using the Snell rumors as a motivating factor, since it is his spot that Snell would take if the Yankees were to acquire him. Schmidt is improving himself each year and he is making himself into a very effective member of the starting rotation, especially now that he is motivated by the possibility of losing his rotation spot to Snell. Also, Will Warren seems ready to impress as a starter, should injuries cause an additional spot to open up in the rotation. Gil has looked terrific as well. So if the Yankees do NOT get Snell, I am still confident that what the Yankees already have will be sufficiently effective.

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fuster
Feb 29

Snell might want to opt out after a single good season


the team might well prefer having Snell for no less than two


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