Yankees’ Juan Soto sets new arbitration record exceeding $30 million

MLB: San Diego Padres at Chicago White Sox
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

With the Yankees settling arbitration cases today, the team and Juan Soto have now officially set an MLB record for arbitration at $31 million. It’s not as if it isn’t well-deserved, the 25-year-old superstar is one of the best hitters on the planet and on a Hall of Fame trajectory before some players even make their MLB debut. Despite being younger than some players in the team’s prospect pool, the Dominican-born slugger will make record-setting money this upcoming season, and we’ll see if he and the Yankees can set another record in a multi-year deal which would likely have to come next winter.

Now that the two sides have agreed on their arbitration number, we have a more concrete view of how much the Yankees have left to spend before hitting the final Luxury Tax threshold.

The Yankees Avoid Arbitration With Juan Soto

MLB: Colorado Rockies at San Diego Padres, yankees, juan soto
Sep 20, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres left fielder Juan Soto (22) tosses his bat after a walk against the Colorado Rockies during the seventh inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees have reached an agreement for the 2024 season with superstar outfielder Juan Soto, as he nets a record-setting $31 million in his final year of arbitration. This breaks the mark set by Shohei Ohtani last season ($30 million), and the left-handed hitting outfielder is one of the richest players in the sport for the upcoming season. With the Yankees settling his arbitration case, they can now focus on adding pitching with a set Luxury Tax number officially instead of having estimations.

With the arbitration cases now settled, the Yankees can potentially focus on their interests in the pitching market, with he team formally making an offer for Blake Snell according to Jon Heyman. The two sides remain far apart on a potential deal, but the Yankees are certainly interested in ending up with an impact starter for the 2024 season. Jack Curry reported that their interest in Marcus Stroman was ‘sincere’ on YES Hot Stove, and so we can expect the Yankees to be aggressive in their pursuits of front-line pitchers.

The Yankees have reportedly also settled with Trent Grisham, who was also acquired in the Juan Soto deal at $5.5 million, avoiding arbitration with the 27-year-old outfielder. As the Yankees enter the 2024 season, Juan Soto’s free agency will be a massive conversation throughout the year, and for good reason. The 25-year-old is a Hall of Famer in the making, with nearly 30 WAR before turning 25 years old, and they know that he could be a piece of their lineup for the long haul if they can reach an agreement with him either this winter or next.

yankees, Clay Holmes
Apr 12, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Clay Holmes (35) throws a pitch during the ninth inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Clay Holmes has also settled at one-year $6 million in his last year of arbitration, joining Nestor Cortes ($3.95 million) and Victor Gonzalez ($850,000) as Yankees who have settled before arbitration. Having a definitive payroll allows them to prioritize free agent and trade acquisitions, and we’ll have to wait and see who officially has to go to arbitration, as the situation at the moment is fluid.

The Yankees have now officially reached a deal with Jonathan Loaisiga at $2.5 million for the 2024 season, they will also avoid arbitraion.

According to Joel Sherman, the New York and Gleyber Torres have agreed to a $14.2 million deal, and will also avoid arbitration ahead of the 2024 season.

Alex Verdugo ($8.7 million), Jose Trevino ($2.73 million), and Clarke Schmidt ($2.025 million) have all reached deals with the Yankees, and they have now signed all arbitration-eligible players.