Yankees’ Juan Soto places strong emphasis on ‘winning’ in introductory press conference

MLB: San Diego Padres at San Francisco Giants, yankees, juan soto
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

In one of the most highly anticipated media availability sessions in recent memory for the Yankees, Juan Soto spoke to the media for the first time as a member of the organization. The 25-year-old superstar was acquired last week in a five-for-two blockbuster deal that sent waves throughout baseball as the team added a much-needed left-handed hitter to the middle of the Yankees’ lineup. Asked about topics varying from how he found out about the trade to his excitement about playing in front of the fans in New York, there was a lot of buzz around this presser.

Juan Soto is ‘Focused’ On the Present With the Yankees

MLB: San Diego Padres at New York Yankees
May 26, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; San Diego Padres left fielder Juan Soto (22) reacts after hitting a two run home run against the New York Yankees during the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Almost immediately, Juan Soto was asked multiple times about his openness to an extension with the New York Yankees, but he made it clear that negotiations were for Scott Boras to handle. Soto mentioned that the Yankees “know who to call” in regards to an extension, and while Scott Boras clients typically don’t take extensions, Brian Cashman and ownership will likely be incentivized to try, given the trade capital it took to acquire his services. The likeliest outcome is that he plays through the rest of the season on an expiring contract, something that wouldn’t seem to bother him at all.

“I’ve been doing it for six years… it’s not going to be that hard because I have one of the best agents in the league”

– Juan Soto on drowning out extension talks during the season

It’s clear that Soto is focused on playing baseball and that winning a World Series this season is his number one priority, iterating that his job is to go out and perform. Playing in New York is something that Juan Soto spoke fondly of, mentioning how he has plenty of family and friends here and even recalling the excitement he had about playing at Yankee Stadium while with the Nationals in his first visit. It’s no secret that there’s a large presence of Dominicans in the Bronx and New York as a whole, as it’s the state with the largest population of Dominicans in the United States.

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Soto talked about being eager to play in front of Dominican fans in the Bronx now that they’re “on his side” and hopes to see plenty of energy in the ballpark from them. Right now, Juan Soto is still processing the trade and confirmed that he has yet to speak with the organization in regards to where he’ll be in the lineup, but also mentioned that he’s open to hitting anywhere in the lineup and doing whatever the team asks him to do, a question that’ll be floated around by fans and media alike as they figure out whether Soto should hit in front of Judge or if it should be the inverse.

mlb: new york yankees at toronto blue jays, aaron judge
Sep 27, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) adjusts his batting helmet in the fifth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

In regards to Aaron Judge, he, alongside players like Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rizzo, and Gleyber Torres, all reached out, according to Soto, and Judge was among the first to do so. Juan Soto joked about wanting to see how big Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge are in person as well, although at 6’2, he certainly isn’t lacking in the height department. He was also asked about Jasson Dominguez, and while he hasn’t spoken to the switch-hitting outfielder, Soto did mention that “everyone knows” about the talent the Martian has.

Winning is the priority for Juan Soto, and that hasn’t changed since his debut in 2018, according to the 25-year-old superstar, as he looks to collect his second World Series title in the Bronx. His future in pinstripes beyond 2024 remains clear, but Juan Soto, just like Brian Cashman in his most recent media session, is focused on a chance at glory this upcoming season.