It is not every day a generational talent hits the trade market, but one like Juan Soto is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, especially for a team like the New York Yankees.
Power hitters are exactly what the Yankees are looking for. The prospect of pairing Aaron Judge with Soto could be too enticing to turn down, even if it requires giving up a monster amount of prospects in the process.
Brendan Kuty of NJ.com believes the Yankees will be heavily involved in the Juan Soto sweepstakes.
“Of course the Yankees are going to give Juan Soto a shot. The Yankees leave no stone unturned. Of course they are going to be involved. Honestly, I think they offer whatever it takes.”
To acquire Soto, general manager Brian Cashman will have to be aggressive. He’d have to give up Anthony Volpe, Oswald Peraza, and several other big names from the farm system.
“In a Juan Soto trade there are no untouchables in the Yankees system. You just don’t know when it comes to prospects.”
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What would Juan Soto bring to the New York Yankees?
This season, Soto is hitting .250 with a 40.5% on base rate and .500 slugging percentage. He’s recording 20 homers, 43 RBIs, a 20.1% walk rate, and a 13.7% strikeout rate. Soto has earned a 45.3% hard-hit rate, 12.8% barrel rate, and 90.3 mph exit velocity on average. He only boasts a 7.6° launch angle, a metric the Yankees would likely try to increase, which should correlate to more home runs. With a 37.4% flyball rate and 20.8% HR/FB rate, there’s a lot left to be desired with the generational talent.
Theoretically, if the Yankees increase his launch angle and improve his flyball rate, this should allow him to crush more homers to right field, given his lefty stance. Soto has it 10 homers to right field, ranking among the league’s best hitters in nearly every category. Defensively, he features predominantly in right field, recording a .994 fielding percentage over 770 innings.
Just a baseline look at his statistics gives you an idea of what he could accomplish wearing pinstripes alongside Judge this season. The Yankees would arguably have the best outfield in the history of baseball with Judge, Soto, and Giancarlo Stanton. If not the best, definitely the strongest.
The question is, how many prospects is too much for Cashman to offer? Would he be willing to pillage a system he’s worked diligently to build over the years? Throwing in the team’s future shortstop in Volpe and a myriad of other top-end prospects would be hard to justify, but Soto is one of the few players you sell the farm for.