No Deal At All: Yankees Won’t Offer Projected $52 Million Star an Extension, Per Columnist…

Only one member of the New York Yankees sits atop all MLB players in a primary statistical category at this point in the season: closer Clay Holmes, who is tied with the San Diego Padres’ Robert Suarez as the major league’s saves leaders with nine apiece.

Holmes has earned a save in all but one of his opportunities to date this season, giving up no earned runs and racking up 12 strikeouts in 12 innings so far. Heis pitching better than ever in his seventh big-league season and he’d be poised for a four-year, $52 million extension, Tim Britton projected for The Athletic, if the Yankees offer one.

But Bob Klapsich, an MLB columnist for the Newark Star-Ledger, has reported that there’s no chance of that.

“This much is certain: Holmes won’t be hearing from the Yankees before season’s end,” Klapsich wrote. “Very few players get early extensions; it’s club policy. Holmes shouldn’t take it personally.”

The New York Yankees Might Lose Reliever Clay Holmes After the Season

If Holmes does ultimately test free agency at the end of a career-best season, he will find no shortage of suitors. As a result, his tenure with the Yankees could be destined to come to an end

“Clay Holmes, the Yankees’ dominant closer, could soon hit the open market, casting a cloud of uncertainty over the team’s bullpen situation in the looming offseason,” Sara Molnick wrote for Pinstripes Nation. “While Clay Holmes’ contributions to the Yankees have been undeniable, the lack of contract discussions thus far suggests a potential parting of ways come the offseason.”

Klapisch ruled out the possibility of an extension based on operating policy for the Yankees, with principal owner Hal Steinbrenner telling reporters in 2010 that he doesn’t “believe in contract extensions, and that’s throughout the organization, no matter who it is.”

The Yankees did extend closer Aroldis Chapman in 2020, but they might have regretted it as his production waned.

At best, Klapsich projected the Yankees would re-sign Holmes to something short term, but cast doubt on that, noting Holmes’ age.

“If history teaches us anything, GM Brian Cashman will encourage Holmes to gauge his value externally,” per Klapsich. “The right-hander will come back with a number. And then — maybe — the Yankees will begin negotiating a short-term deal. But that’s only if Cashman and his analytics crew believe Holmes can maintain the bite on his sinker for another 2-3 seasons.”

Clay Holmes Says He’s Focused on Winning With the New York Yankees Before Free Agency

For Holmes’ part, the best thing he can do is continue to pitch at an elite level, forcing the Yankees to think hard about the consequences of losing him. In recent comments, the pitcher suggested that will continue to be his focus.

“I’ve got a lot of good relationships here with coaches and players, and I’m just enjoying that and enjoying where I’m at right now,” he told The Athletic’s Brendan Kuty. “When the day comes that I’m no longer a Yankee, we’ll think about where that goes. But this is where I’m at and I’m going to help us win as many games as I can.”

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