During an acceptance speech for his 2023 AL Cy Young Award, New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole spoke out about his team’s pursuit of Blake Snell, who has been tied to the Yankees as he seeks a new deal this offseason.
“I know the Baseball Writers’ Association plans this event but I found it particularly interesting that I was sitting next to Blake Snell all night and I was wondering if, maybe Scott, you had gotten hold of the seating chart and played some games with us,” Cole joked, calling out his agent Scott Boras, who also represents Snell. “Sorry, that was for all my Yankees fans.”
USA Today columnist Bob Nightengale has reported that the Yankees made an introductory offer to Snell but that the two sides have a “huge gap” in getting a deal done.
Apparently, Cole couldn’t help but use his platform at the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) awards dinner to comment on a potential deal between his team and the best pitcher left on the market.
Pairing Blake Snell With Gerrit Cole Creates Historic Duo for New York Yankees
It’s easy to understand why Cole was eager to feed speculation about Snell potentially joining the Yankees. The two reigning Cy Young Award winners would instantly create a dominant one-two punch that would go a long way in driving the Yankees toward a deep playoff run.
“So far baseball is waiting for its first instance of the previous year’s Cy Young winners becoming teammates in the following season,” Larry Fleisher wrote for Forbes. “It is coming up because Blake Snell remains unsigned and is being mentioned as possibly becoming a Yankee.”
Such a pairing would see Cole retain his position atop the rotation. He is coming off of a 2.63 ERA season with 15 wins and 222 strikeouts across 209 innings. Meanwhile, Snell pitched for a 2.25 ERA with 14 wins and 234 strikeouts across 180 innings in 2023. Stellar seasons for both pitchers to be sure, but there is a little doubt surrounding Snell, who also won the Cy Young in 2018.
“The main question with Snell is the opposite of Cole, whom the Yankees know will be there every five days or so,” Fleisher added. “In his first two seasons with the (San Diego) Padres, Snell made 51 starts but did not pitch more than 128 ⅔ innings and in the seasons between the Cy Youngs, he dealt with injuries and finished with an ERA exceeding 4.20 twice.”
Will the New York Yankees Agree on a Deal With Blake Snell?
Though Cole seems to relish the idea of teaming up with Snell, the Yankees have had their reservations. Joel Sherman of the New York Post has reported that the team is hesitant to sign any pitcher to a large contract given their recent history with Carlos Rodon, who has not lived up to his six-year, $162 million contract from 2022.
“You can convince me that Blake Snell is Carlos Rodon II,” Sherman wrote. “A lefty represented by Scott Boras with high-end stuff and two great years surrounded by lesser attached to questions about durability. Rodon’s first season in New York suggests this is a bad marriage.”
But after his cheeky reference to the possibility of teaming up with Snell, it seems Cole is hoping he can enjoy a honeymoon season with a fellow Cy Young winner in 2024.
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