The New York Yankees seem to be a fixture on X timelines once the offseason kicks off every year. The bombers have in my opinion the most passionate fanbase in all of sports and when you attach their name next to a blue checkmark, you’re going to get a lot of clicks and a lot of interest.
Every year, Yankees fans hear that the team is interested or kicking the tires on all the big names. Sometimes I’m sure that’s accurate and other times it might just be agents pushing a narrative to drive prices higher. Regardless of their decision making over the past decade, the Yankees still have the feel of a team that can get involved with anyone and go right to the top of the market.
JP Morosi reported today that the team is interested in the top of the free agent market in regards to starting pitching. However, that is not where the focus is for the fans. The focus for all fans is in the outfield. Specifically, the outfield out in San Diego, California. The focus is all on superstar outfielder Juan Soto.
Reasons to think the Yankees make the deal
We have already heard that the Yankees have discussed Juan Soto with the San Diego Padres. We have also heard that the Padres are in a little financial trouble and the way out of that trouble is by dealing Soto who is entering his final year before free agency.
Jeff Passan reported that the Yankees, Cubs, and Mariners are teams that line up very well with the Padres in terms of having the desired trade pieces to get the deal done. However, Passan also said that he doesn’t believe that the Cubs and Mariners would trade the pieces required to get Soto which leaves the Yankees.
The Yankees struggled offensively last year. Former hitting coach Sean Casey talked about how the team desperately needs a powerful and consistent left-handed batter. New York also had a carousel of left fielders last year because they went into the season without one. Do you see where I’m going with this?
Juan Soto is the perfect piece for the Yankees. He checks every box and is exactly what the team was missing last year. Imagine how drastically the top of the order changes when you put Juan Soto around Aaron Judge. Not too mention, you’ll have a consistent left-fielder and you won’t have to worry about that position at all next year barring injury.
Why the Yankees won’t make the deal
Brian Cashman has drawn warranted criticism for his hesitancy in dealing top prospects. Cashman has held onto prospects like Clint Frazier, Miguel Andujar, Deivi Garcia, and others so long that by the time he was willing to trade them, he literally could not give them away. The Yankees have missed out on top trade targets because of their unwillingness to deal top prospects.
I find it hard to believe that Cashman would even deal what it would take for Soto. Not because the fit or Soto’s talent, but the fact that he’s going to be a free agent after this year. While Soto could not be a better fit for New York, I could see Cashman walking away due to his upcoming free agency.
The Yankees have massive deals on the books for Aaron Judge, Gerrit Cole, Giancarlo Stanton, and Carlos Rodon. Extending Juan Soto is going to cost $300+ million and I’m not sure that Hal Steinbrenner would sign-off on doing that. If Steinbrenner would, I could see the deal being made. However, I’m not sure they’re willing to pay that price especially if they sign another top-tier starting pitcher like Yoshinobu Yamamoto.
Odds the deal happens
I’m going to caveat my opinion here with saying there’s no insider information on my end. This is simply opinion by reading the tea leaves and studying the Yankees over the last decade. If you’re asking me today to put a percentage on the likelihood that Juan Soto is in the Bronx next season, I’d put it at 25%.
Honestly, it’s only that high simply because the fit is so perfect. Until it happens, I just don’t believe that Cashman will deal the guys necessary to make the trade happen and I’m also not convinced Hal Steinbrenner will pay another massive contract while Giancarlo Stanton is still on the books through 2027.
Like all fans, I’d be over the moon if the deal happens, I just don’t think it does unless the Padres lower the price to the point where fans would look at the deal as a steal for the Yankees. Cashman loves to make deals happen when he can “Fleece” the competition. It would have to be that kind of deal for it to work and I’m not convinced it will be.