Yankees superstar keeps the door open on spending his career in New York

New York Yankees left fielder Juan Soto, Mets
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

New York Yankees superstar slugger Juan Soto is not even two months into his tenure with the ball club, and he’s already spoken about the prospects of him retiring in the Bronx.

Juan Soto is leaving the door open for a long stay in the Bronx

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees
Feb 25, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Juan Soto (22) smiles in the dugout against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Per Randy Miller of NJ.com, Soto responded to comments from Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner, who proclaimed that he would love for the Dominican MVP candidate to be a lifer with the team, saying:

“My door has been always open. Whenever (Steinbrenner) wants to start talking to Scott [Boras] and all his people, they’re always open to hear whatever he has. For me, I just focusing on the game right now,” Soto said.

Yankees ought to be encouraged by Juan Soto entertaining the possibility of being a Yankee for life

MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays, juan soto
Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Soto is willing to hear Steinbrenner out on contract extension talks. However, he is approaching free agency in the winter of 2024-25. This will make him one of, if not the most highly sought-after players on the open market.

Money plays a huge factor in the MLB, and a large sum of it is what it will take, alongside a successful close to the Yankees’ season, for Soto to remain in New York. Miller also noted Soto’s denial of the $440 million deal the Washington Nationals offered him in the summer of 2022 before he headed to the San Diego Padres as a pretext for the type of deal he’ll warrant, lucrative to put it lightly.

Several other teams will make strong pushes to acquire Soto in free agency

There have been rumors that the New York Mets among other teams will be on their toes as soon as Soto hits free agency. They’ll be ready to give him the keys to their franchise and the bulk of their salary cap space to bring him on board and with good reason.

Soto sits atop the American League leaderboard with 57 hits and 101 total bases on the season. He’s hitting above .300 (.317) for the third time in his seven-year career and also sports a strong 2.3 WAR on the 2023 campaign. His most recent outing saw him hit two of his 11 home runs on the season in the Yankees’ 6-1 win over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.

Yankees could maintain a juggernaut for the next decade by inking Soto to a multi-year deal

Syndication: Arizona Republic, juan soto, yankees, Mets
Credit: Michael Chow/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Players like Soto are few and far between in the Majors. Having him and former 2022 AL MVP Aaron Judge is the equivalent of winning the baseball lottery. The Yankees have their best shot to win a World Series this year and that will only get even better once reigning AL Cy Young award winner Gerrit Cole returns from his elbow injury.

Steinbrenner is aware of this, and their league-leading 33-15 record is a reminder that constantly gets refreshed daily. Soto, 25, has a proverbial lifetime ahead of him in the big leagues barring injury. Therefore, it’ll be interesting to see the gargantuan offer Steinbrenner will send to the three-time All-Star and his agent Boras, who is known to play hardball with his clients’ franchises in pursuit of the best possible contract for them.

Its clear though, that the Yankees’ formula in 2024 has rubbed off on Soto in the best of ways. It’s on the Yankees’ top brass to make their goal of Soto retiring with the team a reality.

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