The past few days have been all Yankees regarding a blockbuster Juan Soto trade, having swapped names with the San Diego Padres in a prospective deal.
However, talks have stalled due to the Padres’ asking price, but general manager Brian Cashman has been through this roundabout before, remaining patient and waiting for AJ Preller to lower the cost.
The Yankees Have Competition
Rumors are now indicating an AL East rival has entered the fold for Soto, the Toronto Blue Jays. Of course, this could simply be a negotiation tactic by the Padres to drive up the price and pressure the Yankees to give up more than they otherwise would.
However, the Blue Jays would be foolish to part ways with significant capital as well, especially for a one-year rental with an estimated $30 million salary for the 2024 season.
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There’s no doubt that Soto is worth it, having played all 162 games this past season, hitting .275 with a .410 OBP, including a career-high 35 homers and 109 RBIs. He would immediately become one of the Yankees’ best hitters behind Aaron Judge, providing a lethal top-of-the-order.
The Yankees are willing to give up pitching prospects — that’s not the problem — it is the demand for premium talent, and a lot of it, that presents concerns.
The Yankees are trying to hold onto Michael King as an integral piece of the team’s starting rotation next season. They’re willing to part ways with Clarke Schmidt and several rising prospects, but there’s a line that Cashman isn’t willing to cross.
Seemingly, he’s already reached a line of resistance, especially since Soto is keen on heading to free agency and picking the highest bidder. The Yankees would have to be either 100% committed to winning a World Series next season or have faith they can extend the superstar lefty slugger in the future, which is a significant risk.
Preller is trying to get maximum value in return, especially having giveaway the Padres’ top prospects in exchange for Soto less than two years ago. He will be taking a massive loss either way, but the Yankees have a chance to form one of the most dangerous in baseball, but it will require several prospects and one MLB-ready pitcher.