The New York Yankees are set to be active at the MLB trade deadline in a few weeks, but Washington Nationals superstar Juan Soto might be their preferred target after becoming available. Soto turned down a $440 million deal, offering him just under $30 million per season.
At 23 years old, Soto is looking for big money on a mammoth extension, something the Yankees could potentially offer him once his service time runs out in 2025.
If the Yankees end up extending Aaron Judge, having an outfield containing arguably the best two sluggers in baseball would be extravagant. Owner Hal Steinbrenner might have himself one of the best outfields in the history of the game, which could be a selling point.
Soto spoke about his disappointment in the Nationals making his contract public and relationships deteriorating quickly. Ultimately, he just wants to play baseball and find a long-term home with a team that is going to respect his talents.
“He’s gonna help whatever team he goes to win a lot of ball games,” Judge told reporters when discussing Washington Nationals star Juan Soto. “I would hate to see him go to a team that we gotta play down the stretch. It would be fun to see him be in New York or be wherever he wants to be.”
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The Yankees would have an elite pairing in the outfield:
Judge indicated it would be fun to see Soto come to the Bronx. He could take advantage of the short right porch in Yankee Stadium. This season, Soto is hitting .250 with a 40.5% on-base rate, 20 homers, and 43 RBIs. He’s earned a 13.7% strikeout rate and 20.1% walk rate, further indicating his unbelievable patience in the batter’s box.
However, Soto also has generational power, as displayed during the home run derby, beating out Julio Rodriguez.
Soto features a 45.3% hard-hit rate, 12.8% barrel rate, and 90.3 mph of exit velocity. His launch angle sits at 7.6°, a number the Yankees could look to increase and improve his home run probabilities. Hosting a 37.4% flyball rate and 20.8% HR/FB ratio, there’s a lot left to be desired with his power.
The Yankees must know that pairing Judge and Soto in the outfield would give them the necessary firepower to push for a World Series. The obvious question is, is Cashman willing to part ways with his top prospects to acquire a 23-year-old superstar?