Yankees met with crazy-high price tag from Padres for elite outfielder Juan Soto

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With the Yankees and Padres in a reported stalemate on a Juan Soto trade, more reports have emerged regarding the Padres’ initial ask for the superstar outfielder. Plenty of reports have swirled about the Yankees’ reluctance to include Michael King and Drew Thorpe in an offer, but Bob Nightengale of USA Today revealed some more names in the package. In a list totaling seven players, Nightengale revealed that the five known players in the seven-player group were Michael King, Clarke Schmidt, Drew Thorpe, Jhony Brito, and Randy Vasquez.

The Yankees, who exchanged names with the Padres earlier this week, balked at the offer, and with the Winter Meetings officially underway, the two sides have plenty of work to do if they want to complete a potential deal.

Padres Give the Yankees a Hefty Price to Pay in Initial Conversations

MLB: San Diego Padres at New York Yankees
May 27, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; San Diego Padres left fielder Juan Soto (22) at bat against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Reports have been coming out left and right regarding the Padres and Yankees, especially with Juan Soto being the Yankees’ presumptive top offseason target. This latest report would indicate that the Padres demanded a lot from Brian Cashman, including two MLB starters Michael King and Clarke Schmidt, alongside young arms like Jhony Brito and Randy Vasquez. It’s clear that the Padres want pitching, and they also asked for the Yankees’ top pitching prospect Drew Thorpe, who won MiLB Pitcher of the Year this past season.

From the Yankees’ perspective, no team has made an offer that would put the team in a position to need to offer whatever the Padres ask for, although the pressure is beginning to mount. The Toronto Blue Jays have thrown their name in the Juan Soto sweepstakes according to Andy Martino, although their focus lies primarily on free agent Shohei Ohtani. AJ Preller and the Padres aren’t going to trade Juan Soto for anything, but asking for a large package given their financial situation certainly won’t result in a deal.

The Padres should ask for a lot in their initial offer, they want teams to pay a lot for Soto, and the Yankees are going to go in the opposite direction with a lesser offer, as the two sides hope to match in the middle. One thing is for certain and it’s that Juan Soto is a near-must for the Yankees, who sorely need a left-handed hitter in their lineup who can match up with Aaron Judge. Last season the Yankees were bottom ten in multiple offensive categories including Runs Scored, OBP, and BA, resulting in the mid-season firing of Dillion Lawson.

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Aug 23, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman talks with the media before the game between the Yankees and the Washington Nationals at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Change is needed in the Bronx, and since it won’t come with new front office hirings, it has to come with on-field talent, and losing out on Juan Soto would be a crushing blow for the team. With the Winter Meetings underway, the two sides could spark talks again and see if they can come closer to an agreement, although the Padres could wait to see how the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes play out before dealing Soto, as teams (like the Blue Jays) could pivot to the 25-year-old outfielder

Pitching is a focal point for any potential Juan Soto package, and while the Yankees have plenty of it, we’ll need to wait-and-see if the two sides can reconcile for a more reasonable package. The swirl of rumors should make the Juan Soto sweepstakes one of the biggest storylines of the Winter Meetings, but if the Yankees are as motivated with Soto as they were with Gerrit Cole in 2019, it’s hard to see how they won’t have a competitive offer on the table.