July 14, 2024

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The Yankees are stepping up their efforts to acquire Juan Soto

The Yankees are stepping up their efforts to acquire Juan Soto

3:10 PM: King, Thorpe, Brito, Vasquez and Catcher, Curry reported on the air Kyle Higashioka They will likely all be included in the trade (video link). The deal still hasn’t quite reached the finish line but could be completed this afternoon.

2:42 PM: The two sides are still sorting out minor details and reviewing medical information, but Heyman Tweet The deal is expected to be completed sooner rather than later. Both Soto and Gresham are expected to go to the Yankees.

1:47 PM: Joel Sherman of the New York Post Tweet That even after the Yankees acquired Verdugo, Grisham remains involved in the current iteration of talks between New York and San Diego. He will be used as a fourth outfielder and a late defensive upgrade. His projected salary of $4.9 million is a bit steep for this role, especially when considering the luxury tax implications associated with it, but the Yankees don’t seem too concerned with the club’s payroll at present.

11:20 AM: The package is expected to include the Soto King And Thorpe, as well as “at least two” other players, Per MLB.com’s Jon Morosiwho adds that the deal is already close to being finalized.

8:42 AM: Talks between the Yankees and Padres regarding a star outfielder Juan Soto It continued all night, apparently, and the Yankees have “intensified” their efforts to pry Soto away from San Diego, Jack Carey of YES Network Reports. Curry describes the trade as “potential,” noting that the Archers Michael King And Drew Thorpe Both can be at play. John Heyman of the New York Post Add This is in addition to Thorpe and King, both Clark Schmidt, Chase Hampton, Johnny Brito And Randy Vasquez They have all been discussed. The Yankees certainly won’t field this entire list of weapons, but there will likely be more than Thorpe and King alone.

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A trade that sends Soto to the Bronx was viewed as a possibility for most of the offseason, and given the star’s projected salary of $33 million (via MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz), the Padres were reported to need to trim the payroll (while continuing to add to a dangerously thin rotation mix) and the Yankees’ desire to make aggressive, wide-ranging changes in the wake of a disappointing season. Previous reports of talks between the two parties have been put on hold over the Padres’ insistence on including MLB rotation pieces, most notably including King. That Curry mentions King and Thorpe as possibilities to include in this deal seems to represent an acquiescence of sorts by the Yanks.

If the deal is actually completed, Soto would be the second player acquired by the Yankees in as many days. New York pulled off an extremely rare exchange of note with their archrival Boston last night, landing a fellow cornerback Alex Verdugo From the Red Sox in exchange for a three-player package. Soto and Verdugo will join Aaron the judge on the field, resulting in a complete overhaul of the group that has been a weakness for the Broncos throughout the 2023 season.

Even with Judge in the fold, the Yankees’ bullpen combined for a horrific .220/.293/.399 batting line last season. The resulting 90 wRC+ indicates that the Yankees’ outfielders were roughly 10% below average at the plate even including 2022 AL MVP production. Subtracting Judge from the equation, the Yankees’ outfielders combined to post a disastrous .214/.247/.365 batting line on the season.

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The Verdugo-Judge-Soto outfield would be much more productive and would also greatly reduce the Yankees’ strikeout problems. Verdugo’s spread was up just 15.4% in 2023, while Soto’s wasn’t much higher at 18.2%. Both Soto and Verdugo are one-year solutions on the field, with both set to become free agents after the 2024 campaign.

The Yankees will presumably deploy Judge in center field regularly for next season, with Verdugo in left field and Soto in right. The Padres and Yankees previously discussed signing the San Diego center fielder Trent Gresham In Soto’s package, but Heyman Tweet That after the Verdugo acquisition, Grisham was no longer likely to be part of talks with the brothers. While manager Aaron Boone cannot officially comment on any potential acquisition of Soto, he has acknowledged that he has To Brendan Cottee of The Athletic And others are now reporting that the Yankees will be comfortable with Judge playing center field every day next season.

Projects resource list already The Yankees for a payroll north of $245 million and more than $256 million in luxury tax liabilities. Soto would push those numbers to around $278 million and $289 million, respectively. The Yankees have effectively reached the second threshold for the luxury tax, meaning the penalties they face for folding Soto’s salary into the fold will be more severe. As a team paying the luxury tax for the third straight season, they will pay a 62% tax for passing between $20-40 million and a whopping 95% surcharge on the next $20 million spent. As far as Soto is concerned, that equates to about $24.5 million in penalties At the top of the His expected salary is $33 million.

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Naturally, additional changes could impact salary and roster projections. The Yankees have been prominently linked to star right-hander NPB Yoshinobu Yamamoto They are seen as one of the favorites to win it. Even failing that, the Yankees may need to look for outside help in the rotation — especially if King and/or Schmidt are already part of the swap that eventually leads to Soto. Adding Soto and making a subsequent addition of any real note to the rotation (except getting a pre-arbitration arm to plug into the mix) would push the Yankees into the newly created fourth tier of luxury penalties — often referred to as the “Steve Cohen Tax.” In reference to the owner of the crosstown Mets.