The Yankees made a vintage Steinbrenner move to land Juan Soto after a lousy 2023

by Andrew Wright
Yankees' Resurgence

The New York Yankees have made a strategic move reminiscent of the late owner George Steinbrenner’s playbook by acquiring Juan Soto following a challenging 2023 season. Soto’s arrival signifies the Yankees’ commitment to restoring their status as a baseball powerhouse after enduring their worst season in thirty years.

General manager Brian Cashman emphasized this ambition under the Steinbrenner leadership, stating, “We certainly want to try under the Steinbrenner leadership to make this the mecca of baseball.” He highlighted George Steinbrenner’s vision of having the world’s best players don the iconic pinstripes of the New York Yankees. Cashman also acknowledged the continued efforts of Hal Steinbrenner, Jenny, and Jessica, the controlling owner’s sisters, in pursuing top-tier talent. Juan Soto’s acquisition exemplifies their ongoing quest to attract the most talented baseball players to call the Bronx their home.

In addition to Soto, the Yankees secured the services of Gold Glove center fielder Trent Grisham in a seven-player trade. This exchange saw right-handed pitchers Michael King, Jhony Brito, Randy Vásquez, Drew Thorpe, and catcher Kyle Higashioka heading to San Diego.

Soto, a 25-year-old outfielder, boasts an impressive track record, with a .275 batting average, 35 home runs, 109 RBIs, and a .930 OPS in his lone full season with the Padres. His arrival fortifies a batting lineup that already includes Aaron Judge. Cashman likened this pairing to a card game, emphasizing the challenges it will pose to opposing pitchers due to their handedness.

Aaron Judge, who spent considerable time in center field last season due to injuries, is expected to continue in that role until rookie Jasson Domínguez returns from Tommy John surgery, likely in June or July. Judge’s injuries played a part in the Yankees’ 82-80 record last season, marking their first playoff miss since 2016.

Cashman expressed confidence in Judge’s recovery, stating, “We think he’s fine. We think he’s resolved. We think that that issue’s behind him.” He further noted that Judge prefers playing center field.

Soto’s journey to the Yankees began when San Diego acquired him from Washington in August 2022, following his decision to decline a monumental $440 million, 15-year offer from the Nationals. As Soto enters his last season of arbitration eligibility with a salary of around $32 million, his impending free agency after the next World Series will be closely watched.

Regarding a long-term deal with Soto, Cashman indicated that he has not engaged in discussions with his agent, Scott Boras. However, the Yankees hope that Soto’s presence will enhance their appeal to Japanese right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto, a free agent they plan to meet with in California.

Cashman stressed the importance of bolstering the pitching staff, acknowledging the need to onboard pitching talent.

The negotiations with the Padres for Soto began before last summer’s trade deadline and resumed at the general managers’ meetings last month. These talks were delayed by the passing of San Diego owner Peter Seidler and the team’s manager search.

Despite the discussions, the Yankees prioritized retaining Jasson Domínguez and shortstop Anthony Volpe and resisted including them in the trade.

In conclusion, the Yankees’ acquisition of Juan Soto represents a significant step in their pursuit of excellence and a return to their storied history of success in baseball. This move underscores their dedication to assembling a lineup of elite talent and their aspiration to reclaim their status as baseball’s premier franchise.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Yankees’ Resurgence

What prompted the New York Yankees to acquire Juan Soto?

The New York Yankees acquired Juan Soto as part of their strategy to rebound from a challenging 2023 season. This move is in line with their historical pursuit of top-tier talent, following the playbook set by late owner George Steinbrenner.

How did the Yankees secure Juan Soto’s services?

The Yankees acquired Juan Soto in a seven-player trade with the San Diego Padres, sending several pitchers and a catcher to San Diego in exchange for the three-time All-Star outfielder.

What are the expectations from Juan Soto in the Yankees’ lineup?

Juan Soto, known for his impressive batting stats, is expected to strengthen the Yankees’ batting order, which already includes Aaron Judge. This pairing is anticipated to create a challenging lineup for opposing pitchers due to their handedness.

How is Aaron Judge’s role affected by Juan Soto’s arrival?

Aaron Judge is expected to spend considerable time in center field until rookie Jasson Domínguez returns from injury. This move is a response to Judge’s injuries in the previous season and aims to optimize the outfield lineup.

What is Juan Soto’s contract situation with the Yankees?

Juan Soto is in his last season of arbitration eligibility with the Yankees and is set to earn approximately $32 million. He can become a free agent after the next World Series, making his future with the team a topic of interest.

Are there plans for a long-term deal with Juan Soto?

As of now, the Yankees have not engaged in discussions with Juan Soto’s agent about a long-term contract. The focus is on the upcoming season, but his presence may help attract other notable free agents.

How did negotiations with the Padres for Juan Soto unfold?

Negotiations with the Padres began ahead of the previous summer’s trade deadline and resumed at the general managers’ meetings, with some delays due to unfortunate circumstances, including the passing of San Diego owner Peter Seidler.

Did the Yankees consider trading Jasson Domínguez and Anthony Volpe in this deal?

While negotiations took place, the Yankees prioritized retaining Jasson Domínguez and shortstop Anthony Volpe, and they were not included in the trade for Juan Soto.

More about Yankees’ Resurgence

  • MLB Official Website: For official Major League Baseball news and updates.
  • New York Yankees: The official website of the New York Yankees for team-related information.
  • Juan Soto’s MLB Profile: For details about Juan Soto’s career statistics and achievements.
  • George Steinbrenner: Information about George Steinbrenner, the late owner of the New York Yankees.
  • Scott Boras Agency: The official website of Scott Boras, the agent for Juan Soto, for potential contract updates.
  • San Diego Padres: The official website of the San Diego Padres for information related to the trade and team news.

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NYC_Pinstripe December 8, 2023 - 3:13 am

aaron judge n’ soto, dat’s sum serius firepowr in da lineup, opposin’ pitchas in trouble!

BaseballFan23 December 8, 2023 - 9:19 am

yankees goin’ big wit dat soto move, bou time dey step up dey game!

YankeeForever December 8, 2023 - 12:19 pm

Keepin’ Jasson n’ Volpe, smart move, dey da future!

TradeTalks4Life December 8, 2023 - 6:28 pm

soto’s contract situ? dey ain’t talkin’ long term yet, we’ll see how it goes.


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