MLB rumors: Yankees were willing to make big Blake Snell offer before Marcus Stroman deal, Cards add reliever

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Major League Baseball kicked off February with a bang, as the Baltimore Orioles acquired ace Corbin Burnes from the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday night in exchange for two prospects and a draft pick. What will the second day of the month bring? Remember, four of our top 10 free agents (Cody Bellinger, Matt Chapman, Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery) remain unsigned. In theory, that could change at any given time. In practice, we’ll be keeping track of all the day’s latest news, notes, and rumors in the space below.
Yankees were willing to go above Rodón for Snell
According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the Yankees were willing to go “above Rodón” to land reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell. Heyman speculates that means they were willing to top the $27 million AAV they handed to Carlos Rodón last winter as part of a six-year, $162 million agreement.
Heyman notes that Snell is believed to want more than $30 million annually.
The Yankees are now said to no longer be interested in Snell or other starters, having signed Marcus Stroman in January.
Cardinals sign Middleton
The Cardinals have reached an agreement with right-handed reliever Keynan Middleton, according to Robert Murray of FanSided.
Middleton, 30, split last season between the White Sox and Yankees. In 51 combined appearances he amassed a 3.38 ERA (133 ERA+) and a 2.78 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He threw his changeup and slider more than 72% of the time, marking the first occasion in his career where his fastball wasn’t his primary pitch.
Middleton is the second notable veteran addition the Cardinals have made to their bullpen this winter. They also obtained closer Andrew Kittredge from the Rays back in January.

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