Yankees’ Talks With Padres Heat Up: ‘A trade is likely’

MLB: Colorado Rockies at San Diego Padres, yankees, juan soto
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are extremely motivated to acquire superstar leftfielder Juan Soto, just one day after landing Alex Verdugo from the Boston Red Sox, in exchange for three pitching prospects.

It seems as if general manager Brian Cashman is keen on shredding his pitching prospect pool and dipping into his MLB-ready talent to acquire an offensive piece as good as Soto. Obviously, the Yankees are coming off a disappointing 2023 season that saw them finish 82–80, sporting one of the worst batting orders in baseball. Without Aaron Judge, they simply failed to get the job done, and even Judge himself couldn’t carry an offense that struggled around him.

The Yankees Are Making Big Moves

According to Jack Curry of the YES Network, the Yankees “intensified” their negotiations with Soto on Tuesday, and “a trade is likely,” but they may have to give up both Michael King and top pitching prospect Drew Thorpe in the process.

“As we reported on Hot Stove last night, the Yankees intensified efforts to acquire Soto. Those talks have continued and a trade is likely. Keep an eye on King and Thorpe. Padres need pitchers and those two could headline a trade. Would think Yankees will part with 4 or 5 players.”

Soto is coming off a phenomenal campaign, playing all 162 games, hitting .275/.410/.519. He also contributed a career-high 35 homers, 109 RBIs and posted an 18.6% walk rate compared to an 18.2% strikeout rate. He’s in the middle of a Hall of Fame-level career and is only 25 years old.

The Yankees know that he is one year away from free agency, but it’s expected they will try their best to extend him on a long-term offer, locking him in at a young age alongside Judge.

MLB: San Diego Padres at New York Yankees
May 26, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; San Diego Padres left fielder Juan Soto (22) reacts after hitting a two run home run against the New York Yankees during the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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Trading Michael King Will Sting

The Yankees may have to give up Michael King, one of their controllable starting pitcher with elite upside. The 28-year-old recorded a 2.75 ERA and 10.92 strikeouts pron across a career-high 104.2 innings this past season. King is preparing to transition to the starting rotation, but there are some concerns about his injury history. Ideally, they would leverage Clarke Schmidt over King, but it seemed as if the Padres have their sights set on the right-handed pitcher with two more years of control.

In addition, Curry indicates that Thorpe could be on his way out as well, along with several other prospects. Thorpe enjoyed a 1.48 ERA in Double-A last year across 30.1 innings after making the jump from High-A Hudson Valley. Thorpe has phenomenal stuff and projects to be a solid rotation piece in the future.

Clearly, the Yankees are preparing to shred their minor-league system in hopes of landing one of the best offensive players in baseball. Of course, this isn’t just any asset, Soto is a player who would change the entire course of the organization and a player who stays healthy year-in and year out, which has been a significant issue for the Bombers recently.