Rumblings from the trading sphere suggest the New York Yankees could find themselves vying for two of the game’s most potent players, Shohei Ohtani and Juan Soto, despite previous speculations of a slim trade deadline.
Both superstars may be on the trade block. Soto has a year of team control remaining before he ventures into free agency, while Ohtani is anticipated to explore the open market following this season.
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Yankees’ Stake in Ohtani: A Calculated Gamble?
Securing Ohtani would demand a hefty haul of prospects from the Yankees. They would be banking on the rest-of-the-season stint and the possibility of an extension to ensure the first autograph on his new contract features the signature Yankee pinstripes.
While it’s a risky maneuver, several industry insiders point towards a potential availability of Ohtani by the Los Angeles Angels, despite the odds being relatively low. If the Angels start mulling over prospect packages, the Yankees are tipped to join the bidding war.
Ohtani’s Stellar Performance: A Tempting Asset
Currently, in his prime at 29, Ohtani is delivering one of his best seasons. His stats include a batting average of .302, 32 home runs, 71 RBIs, a 12.1% walk rate, 181 wRC+, and a collective 4.3 WAR. Beyond his prowess at the plate, Ohtani is equally dominant on the mound, boasting a 3.32 ERA and 3.51 xFIP over 100.1 innings.
The Yankees’ Financial Power Play
Landing Ohtani on a mega-deal is well within the Yankees’ financial scope. His stellar performances, both as a pitcher and a hitter, would draw a crowd from all corners to the Bronx. The resulting surge in the team’s revenue and the economic boom in the area would more than offset the cost of the contract.
Steinbrenner’s Financial Flexibility: A Soto Prospect?
The team’s owner, Hal Steinbrenner, recently inked a deal to add advertisements to the Yankees jerseys, supplementing an annual $25 million to the team’s coffers. This inflow undeniably equips him with the financial muscle to extend Ohtani a lucrative contract. Concurrently, it also keeps the 24-year-old Soto, who’s stepping into his prime, within the realm of possibilities.
While Soto lacks the dual threat that Ohtani possesses, his offensive potency remains an enticing prospect.
The Yankees’ Historical Connections
The chances of the Yankees trading for other players may be marginal, but given the escalating trade heat, and their historical links to both Ohtani and Soto, their involvement cannot be ruled out. Notably, they had presented a proposal to the Angels last year for Ohtani, which was eventually turned down.
The looming trade deadline brings with it anticipation and excitement. It’s now a waiting game to see if the Yankees make these power plays a reality, potentially transforming the landscape of their roster and the league.