Yankees Mock Trade: Landing Juan Soto from the Padres

yankees, juan soto
Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

The New York Yankees‘ potential trade for the San Diego Padres’ superstar outfielder, Juan Soto, is conjecture at this point. Nonetheless, baseball legend Derek Jeter insists the Yankees should entertain this proposition, particularly if the Padres falter post the All-Star break.

A Rocky Road to Playoffs for the Padres

The Padres are currently eight games behind in the NL Central division. This means they’d need a remarkably robust second half of the season to break into the playoff picture. If they decide to trade away some of their top talents by the deadline, the Bombers might capitalize on the situation and make a move for Soto, given their current offensive circumstances.

The Yanks are likely to flounder without Aaron Judge. The addition of Soto could be a significant development, particularly when paired with Judge upon his return. However, acquiring Soto would involve letting go of some of their best prospects. Soto is under control till 2025, and the Yankees would need to consider the feasibility of extending him on a whopping $500 million contract — a decision that seems obvious.

Potential Yankees-Padres Trade: Breaking It Down

Yankees to Receive: Juan Soto

Amid another commanding campaign, Soto has a batting average of .265 with a .419 OBP. His tally includes 15 home runs, 47 RBIs, a .479 slugging percentage, and 148 wRC+. Soto’s talent is well-suited to Yankee Stadium’s right-field porch.

Entering his prime at 24, Soto is likely to remain an elite player for at least another decade. Given that the Yankees recently signed a nine-year contract extension with Aaron Judge at 30, having Soto in the Bronx for the foreseeable future seems a sensible move.

If necessary, the Yankees could trade Soto in the future, thereby regaining some prospects to strengthen their farm system. Ideally, the combination of Soto and Judge could lead the Yankees to numerous World Series championships, a realistic prospect considering their talent. Nonetheless, to acquire one of the game’s best players in a decade, Cashman will need to tap into his farm system.

Padres to Receive: Jasson Dominguez, Oswald Peraza, Clarke Schmidt, Roderick Arias, Jared Serna, Juan Carela

Initially, the Yankees would need to part with Jasson Dominguez, their top outfield prospect. Even though Dominguez, 20, is struggling somewhat in Double-A, his stats across 76 games demonstrate potential.

Across 76 games, Dominguez is hitting .204 with a .345 OBP, including 10 homers, 39 RBIs, and 24 stolen bases. His 28.4% strikeout rate has certainly raised some eyebrows, but he’s also walking at 17.7%. Once Dominguez puts it all together, his numbers should take off and showcase the elite potential most believe he contains.

Oswald Peraza, a 23-year-old infielder displaying Gold-Glove-level performance in Triple-A this season, is next on the list. Across 43 games, he’s hitting .267 with a .354 OBP, including 12 homers, 28 RBIs, and 11 stolen bases. He’s a prospective call-up for a team needing a reliable infielder. The Yankees have held back on utilizing Peraza, possibly to maintain his trade value.

In addition to Dominguez and Peraza, the Yankees might also include Clarke Schmidt in the trade. Despite his challenging season, Schmidt, a 27-year-old promising pitcher, has shown improvement of late. He currently hosts a 4.40 ERA across 88 innings, including 8.90 strikeouts per nine with a 71.4% left-on-base rate and 42.5% ground-ball rate. His future role within the Yankees’ pitching staff is yet to be determined, but his potential value cannot be dismissed.

As reported on Wednesday, rival teams have shown interest in the Yankees’ top international signing from 2022, Roderick Arias. At just 18, Arias is seen to have enormous potential. Arias has played 21 games with the Florida Complex Yankees, hitting .277 with a .413 OBP, including six homers, 22 RBIs, 10 stolen bases, and an 18.3% walk rate. While some foresee a 2027 call-up for him, his athletic prowess could accelerate his progression through the minor-league system.

It’s evident that other teams are assessing the Yankees’ willingness to trade Arias. However, for a deal involving Soto, the Yankees may have to consider this option.

Additional low-tier kickers that the Yankees could include in the speculated trade deal are Jared Serna and Juan Carela. These players, although not top-level prospects, bring unique strengths to the table, thereby bolstering the depth of the trade package.

Jared Serna, a promising second baseman with high potential, is currently stationed in A-ball. His recent performance in 75 games with Tampa is impressive, boasting a .285 batting average and a .346 OBP. This is complemented by his 14 home runs and 51 RBIs, which make a compelling case for his imminent promotion.

Meanwhile, Juan Carela, 21, is making his mark with Hudson Valley. As a right-handed pitcher with an arsenal of solid pitches, Carela holds a 2.99 ERA with 11.57 strikeouts per nine. His addition would bring another promising pitcher into the Padres’ farm system.

From this perspective, it’s clear that this hypothetical trade deal would significantly impact the Yankees’ roster. They might have to compromise in some areas, but the payoff would be a proven, top-tier player. For such a massive deal to materialize, the Yankees would need to be fully committed to extending Soto’s contract and ready to make bold moves to execute it. This trade scenario highlights the complexities and trade-offs inherent in baseball’s strategic dealings.

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