TAMPA, Fla. — Earlier this winter, the Yankees thought that signing left-hander Blake Snell was a real possibility.

The Yankees had a six-year, $150 million deal on the table for the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner … but Snell and his camp declined.

Blake Snell signed with the Giants on Monday night for $62 million.AP

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It was still the early stages of the new year and at the time, agent Scott Boras was banking on an influx of lucrative offers. The Yankees’ figures were much lower than what the ex-Padres ace and his team thought he’d make.

Boy, were they wrong.

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Snell signed a two-year deal worth $62 million with the Giants on Monday night, an unceremonious conclusion to a free-agency sweepstakes that dragged on into the final few weeks of spring training.


Jon Heyman of the New York Post was first to report the news. While Snell’s average annual value is technically $31 here — that’s as much as Juan Soto is making this year, his final season of arbitration — it’s actually divvied up as a $15 million salary with a $17 million signing bonus (deferred to January of 2026), per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Yankees were never in the market for a salary that steep. With the organization’s luxury tax payroll already above $300 million for 2024 — a number that puts the Yankees above every possible threshold of penalties — cost has been a prohibitive factor on the open market.

To be exact, the Yankees need to pay an extra 110 percent penalty on any dollar they spend going forward. That means the Yankees would’ve been on the hook for $96.1 million from the entirety of Snell’s new contract ($65.1 million in 2024 and $31 in 2025) if they paid it straight up. Going off the contract details that Slusser reported, if Snell opted out after one year, the Yankees would’ve needed to drop $48.5 million for that one season of Snell ($31.5 million in 2024, plus the $17 million signing bonus).

After pulling their offer, the Yankees moved on. When the Yankees signed Marcus Stroman in January, the Snell ship sailed for good. And now, they’re picking from in-house candidates to serve as the fifth starter in the rotation, filling in early on for injured ace Gerrit Cole.

That’s what NJ Advance Media has been reporting all along. Despite all the rumors that connected these teams over the last few months, the odds of Snell signing with the Yankees dropped to just about zero once they pivoted to Stroman (on a $37 million deal over two years). That never changed because of the financial implications.

Snell was in touch with the Astros late in this process as well, but Houston — even with their starting pitching needs — was always a long shot. Their interest and the price they were willing to pay wasn’t close to the asking price coming from Snell’s camp.