Monday, June 17, 2024

Juan Soto free agency: Yankees slugger says he’s ‘open’ to listening to ‘anybody and everybody’

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Juan Soto is only 25 years old, but given that he debuted at age 19, he’s set to hit free agency after this season. There was some thought that his current team, the New York Yankees, has the necessary deep pockets to extend him and prevent a foray into free agency. 

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner, recently, however, poured cold water on that idea. He said that the Yankees can’t afford to keep running payrolls at their current levels

In the meantime, Soto was asked about his impending free agency and said the following, via The Athletic

“We’re going to be open to listening to anybody and everybody. We’re not closing any doors. Whoever wants to talk about deals, I’m open.”

The “we” there would be Soto and his agent, Scott Boras. It sounds like he’s planning on hitting free agency and given the recent comments from Yankees’ ownership, all signs are pointing that way. 

Soto is due a monster payday and that’s part of the reason why a generational talent like him has been traded twice already. His current team is among the teams with the deepest pockets in the majors, but apparently Steinbrenner is more worried about his money than fielding the best team possible. 

Soto heads into Friday hitting .312/.409/.563 (173 OPS+) with nine doubles, a triple, 13 homers, 41 RBI, 38 runs and 2.5 WAR in 52 games. In several ways, he’s on pace to have the best season of his young career and that’s saying a lot. The Yankees hold a three-game lead in the AL East with one of baseball’s best offenses and Soto is one of the biggest reasons for both. 

Apparently, though, at this point, the Yankees aren’t going to try and extend him before he hits the open market. 

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