$700M Ohtani Deal Lands Yankees in Juan Soto Trouble Zone

Soto and Ohtani are the newest names linked to joing the Yankees in 2023.
AP
Michael Bennington
Sunday December 10, 2023

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The mega deal amounting to $700 million by the Dodgers for Shohei Ohtani has upped the ante for the Yankees. Another key left-hand bat Juan Soto, who the Yankees acquired after trading five players, will be entering free agency next offseason and the team may have to present a huge deal to retain him. Certainly, the Ohtani contract will be a benchmark to follow at that time. 

Ohtani announced on Saturday afternoon that he chose the Dodgers as his new team. While the Blue Jays appeared to be a strong contender in the Ohtani sweepstakes during the secretive and controversial free agency period, Los Angeles consistently seemed like the favored destination.

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The sports world was not only shaken by the team Ohtani chose but also by the colossal nature of his contract. Ohtani’s agreement stands as the most extensive guaranteed contract in the history of sports, eclipsing the prior record for the largest signing in MLB history. Former teammate Mike Trout held the previous record with a $426.5 million deal with the Angels. It surpasses the combined value of contracts signed by Aaron Judge ($360 million) and Gerrit Cole ($324 million) with the Yankees.

His average annual value of $70 million nearly doubles the prior record set by Max Scherzer and the Mets at $43 million.

Ohtani stands as a unique figure, a two-way superstar and an unparalleled talent deserving of a contract that sets a new standard. Even if no other player in baseball quite matches Ohtani’s value, his contract is poised to influence future generational players when they enter the open market or negotiate extensions in the years ahead.

Yankees need a mega deal to keep Juan Soto for 2025

Soto, recently acquired by the Yankees in a significant trade with the Padres, is up next. The outfielder is set to enter free agency next winter, having rejected a $440 million extension offer from the Nationals in 2022. Recognizing his value, Soto aims to shine on the grandest stage.

Indications already hinted at Soto commanding a contract exceeding $500 million. At 25, he stands as one of the premier hitters in the game, with immense potential yet to be fully realized. MLB Trade Rumors‘ arbitration projections estimate Soto’s earnings at $33 million in 2024.

Ohtani’s monumental deal provides further leverage for agent Scott Boras to push for a higher price for his client. Other factors influencing the terms of Soto’s contract include his performance with the Yankees in 2024 and his affinity for playing in pinstripes. While it’s not guaranteed that Soto will take any discount to remain in the Bronx, if he envisions concluding his career with the Yankees, there might be room for negotiation on an extension before hitting free agency. Alternatively, without a pre-free agency extension, a bidding war in the upcoming winter involving teams like the Mets and owner Steve Cohen could propel Soto’s contract toward $600 million and beyond.

The Yankees face a significant decision on whether they are prepared to issue such a substantial payment. With numerous stars already commanding nine-figure salaries and an ongoing pursuit of Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the financial landscape is a key consideration. Additionally, the question arises of how Aaron Judge, a prominent figure in the team, would respond to another outfielder potentially surpassing him as the highest-paid player in Yankees history by more than $100 million.

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As of this week, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has noted that there have been no discussions regarding an extension with Soto and his agent, Scott Boras.

Cashman highlighted the quality of individuals within the organization, including the manager, coaches, new teammates, as well as the supportive fans and the tri-state area. He considered these elements as appealing factors for recruiting players. Under the guidance of the Steinbrenner leadership, the goal was to make the team the pinnacle of baseball, ensuring an incredible and pleasant experience for both players and their families. Cashman believed that by prioritizing these aspects, the recruiting process would naturally fall into place.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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4 thoughts on “$700M Ohtani Deal Lands Yankees in Juan Soto Trouble Zone

  1. CASHMAN SUCKS , CASHMAN SUCKS,
    CASHMAN SUCKS, CASHMAN SUCKS !!!.

    FIRE CASHMAN, FIRE CASHMAN,
    FIRE CASHMAN, FIRE CASHMAN FIRE 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
    ROAST THAT P. O. S .
    U SUCK CASHMAN !!!!! UR A DISGRACE TO THE YANKEE EMPIRE !!!.
    AS LONG AS CASHMAN IS A G.M. …WERE NOT YANKEE FANS ….NO MORE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

    ENOUGH SAID 😡😡😡
    GOD BLESS AMERICA 🙏

  2. I mean, yeah, of course, now that there is a new highest contract in the history of sports AND in MLB, OF COURSE that’s a new benchmark. That goes without saying. It doesn’t really matter though, unless someone else comes through with nearly the same amount of talent on both sides of the ball that Ohtani has.

    With Ohtani, you’re getting an ace pitcher and a great hitter who can fill in on the defensive position player side occasionally. Subtract the amount for an ace pitcher + a bonus the international markets he opens up for whatever team he plays on, and that’s what this bechmark tells us about how much Ohtani is valued on the offensive side.
    There aren’t really many comparisons to the situation Soto finds himself in because he’s so damn young. He’s a hitter with pinnacle, MVP type offensive numbers that will match some of the greatest of all time at age 26, but not much on the defensive side. Problem is though, He’s not a DH. He can handle an OF position, just at near replacement level. He’s going to be handed better than one of the best DH’s of all time. He’s nowhere close to Judge’s power or defense, and he’s not ending up on WAR top-10 lists year after year like Judge is. But he’s also 25, so you’re getting him when you’d have graduated Judge from the minors, and while he doesn’t project to turn in Judge power numbers, I couldsee him regularly reaching 40HR’s in YS, and if the team finally has its shit together w/analytics and coaching now , they could unlock something before he hits his prime.

    He’s a hard player to value at his age, but at his ceiling, I could see a team matching Judge’s contract AAV for at least 9 years of his. I don’t think any team really should exceed that. It’s not like Judge took much of a discount to stay with the Yankees. I could see a team tacking on up to an additional 5 years, but rationally, they shouldn’t go any higher than 35 mil for them. My top-end, rational estimate, if he plays to his B-Ref projections this season, is for 14 years, 550mil with 25, 27.5, 30, 32.5, & 35mil season front-loaded or back-loaded, depending on the team he signs with.

    I also wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up with team-friendly opt-outs later in his contract and player friendly options sooner.

    (PS – Hello to my long lost RAB peeps! Anyone know where anyone else decided to congregate since RAB went away? I never liked the slack desktop interface so haven’t heard news from the group for a long time, other than Rob/Exiled in Florida passed… RIP.)

  3. i can’t imagine what the lprice of a ticket will be in dodger land,,,it will be basically a corporate ticket ans the everyday wage earner won’t be able to afford one,,, probably that way now for both the dodgers, yankees, and mets….it’s scary how thingsgo,, but high priced players does not win world series,, just look at the yankees…

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