CLEVELAND — Aaron Judge may not be the only free agent the Yankees have to worry about this offseason.
Pitching coach Matt Blake, who is widely credited for the Yankees’ stellar performance on the mound this season, is also expected to hit the open market.
And after the telling midseason departure of Twins pitching coach Wes Johnson to take the same role at LSU for a reported raise of about $400,000 for a deal worth about $750,000 per year, with bonuses, it seems successful pitching coaches are in more demand than ever before.
“Any time you see someone with similar skills go and do something like that, you go, ‘Interesting,'” Blake said on Friday, before the Yankees’ game against the Guardians at Progressive Field was postponed by the city. rain. “You see the market moving. When I came to Cleveland and got promotions and raises because the industry kept wanting my skills. It’s the same here now.
Blake said he wasn’t looking to move on.
“I love being here and I love the role I’m playing,” Blake said. “I like the people I work with. I have no ambition to go to another team or to the university ranks.
But that doesn’t mean he won’t keep his eyes peeled this offseason — and he took particular note of Johnson’s decision.
“He’s compensated fairly for what the industry currently thinks,” Blake said. “There’s a huge market for pitching development and it’s going to turn up the tide for a lot of people. It’s hard to say it’s not worth, call it $1 million, if you turn free agents from minor leagues into good pitchers. That’s something you’ve seen evolve in that direction and now it’s just a question of who’s ready to play the arms race?”
The Yankees will have to decide.
The Yankees entered an MLB-best 2.92 on Friday, and Blake was credited with the turnovers of Nestor Cortes and Clay Holmes, as well as the success of the pitching team as a whole.
“I want them to do what’s right for what they think is right as a company,” Blake said. “I’ll take what they have to say and think for myself. Obviously, I like being here. It’s an interesting time to be a major league pitching coach.
Especially in a team with the best record in the majors.
Blake is in his third year as the Yankees’ pitching coach after coming from Cleveland, where he was minor league pitching manager.
“I’m getting paid well now,” Blake said. “What does this mean for the best baseball team in New York and the way we’ve performed? What do they think it’s worth? I love working for these guys and I think they like having me here, so what does that mean for both parties?”
Worries he had when he took the job, living in New York City and in the middle of a major league season, have been answered, Blake said.
“It’s all been great, so how can we keep it going?” Blake said. “We’ll see what it looks like in the end.”
Manager Aaron Boone hopes not.
“He’s been awesome,” Boone said. “I feel like he got better and better and also grew on the job until he’s now been around. … He’s a great pitching coach. He’ll be able to do that as long as he wants.
New York Post