The Yankees have no choice but to dish out $500 million for superstar

MLB: Miami Marlins at New York Yankees
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Yankees managing partner Hal Steinbrenner has an easy decision to make next off-season when superstar slugger Juan Soto becomes a free agent.

At the end of the day, if Steinbrenner is keen on winning games, he should be handing Soto a blank check, knowing that he will bring in more money than any contract will pay him over the next decade, if not longer.

Soto is looking for the type of pay that breaks records, despite the fact that Shohei Ohtani secured a $700 million contract last off-season. The difference is that Soto is a one-way player, and Ohtani is one of the best hitters and pitchers.

From the perspective of a generational bat, Soto brings unprecedented production to a Yankee lineup that has been starving for another star alongside Aaron Judge.

The Yankees Have Needed a Player Like Juan Soto for a Long Time

Over the first 15 games of the regular season, Soto is hitting .333/.458/.544, including three homers, 15 RBIs, a 13.9% strikeout rate, 19.4% walk rate, and 197 wRC+.

This is no ordinary talent; this is a 25-year-old Hall of Famer, a player of the Yankees who would’ve traded for a decade ago and never let leave. Now, Steinbrenner needs to turn back the clock and represent the Yankee organization with an aggressive contract.

That might’ve been partially why the Yankees were a bit hesitant to push over the $300 million luxury tax threshold this past season as they look to save some money and allocate it to Soto in the future.

Picking Up Wins and Clutch Hits

On Saturday, Soto once again displayed his dominance, especially in their 8–2 win in Game 2 of the doubleheader. Soto picked up one hit and two walks over three at-bats, including a three-run blast in the top of the fourth inning, driving in Alex Verdugo and Anthony Volpe. Volpe got on base three times ahead of Soto, representing a phenomenal leadoff man after making the transition recently.

“He’s a great, great player,” Boone said after Saturday’s doubleheader wins. “It’s not surprising.”

The Bombers have every reason to keep Soto at the top of their lineup for the foreseeable future, and one of his most important statistics is his production with runners in scoring position.

The Yankees struggled significantly with men on base last year, but Soto was hitting .583/.647/1.083 with RISP, including two homers, 13 RBIs, and just one strikeout over 17 plate appearances. These numbers don’t even seem real, but they’re impressive.

In addition to his tremendous offensive production, Soto has already picked up three defensive runs saved and one out above average across 135 defensive innings in right field. Considering Soto is known for his defensive attitude, the fact he’s providing above-average value there is impressive and unexpected

He is certainly setting himself up for a major payday, and the Yankees would love to win a World Series and parlay that right into an extension that breaks franchise records.

At the end of the day, Judge shouldn’t be upset that his contract gets completely blown out of the water by Soto, who is six years younger and is leading the charge this season, with the veteran struggling to get going.

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