‘Stay tuned,’ Cashman promises to double down on best Yankees deal of his tenure

Juan Soto and New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman
Michael Bennington
Wednesday May 22, 2024

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Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner has already expressed his desire to start talks with Juan Soto for a new deal. Now, general manager Brian Cashman echoed those sentiments and has promised a follow-up, contract to secure the best pinstriped deal in his recent years for the long term.

Cashman, speaking at BTIG’s Charity Day on behalf of Covenant House in Midtown, conveyed that Steinbrenner was simply speaking “the truth and the obvious” when discussing the Yankees’ hopes of retaining the star outfielder beyond his current contract, which expires after this season.

The Yankees acquired Soto and Trent Grisham in a December trade that sent five players to the other team, with the former set to earn $31 million in his final year of arbitration before hitting free agency for the first time.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding Soto’s future, the Yankees are optimistic about their chances of convincing him to stay. Cashman acknowledged that while Soto will ultimately make his own decision, the team hopes to make it a difficult choice for him to leave.

“When we traded for him, we certainly hoped we could keep him,” Cashman said. “We also recognize he’ll be making his own decision either way. We hope we can make it hard on him.”

Anthony Volpe of the Yankees celebrates with Juan Soto after hitting a home run against the Brewers on April 28, 2024, at American Family Field.

So far, Soto has been a game-changer for the Yankees, providing a significant boost to an offense that struggled last year while seamlessly adapting to the clubhouse and the New York spotlight.

Cashman praised Soto as a generational talent, expressing satisfaction with the decision to acquire him and the hope that he will remain with the Yankees for years to come.

While New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner, star outfielder Juan Soto, and Soto’s agent, Scott Boras, have expressed openness to discussing a new contract during the season, general manager Brian Cashman revealed that those conversations have not yet begun. Cashman informed that the team will have those discussions at some point and urged fans to stay tuned for updates.

Soto, 25, previously turned down a 15-year, $440 million extension offer from the Washington Nationals in 2022. Despite the San Diego Padres’ desire to keep him following his trade from Washington, the two sides never came close to reaching a new agreement.

Cashman expressed the team’s desire to retain Soto, stating that they believe he enjoys playing in New York and loves the fan base and his teammates.

Soto and Aaron Judge have been consistently batting second and third in the Yankees’ lineup, respectively. As of Tuesday’s game against Seattle, Judge ranked second in the American League with an OPS of .988, while Soto was fourth at .966.

Juan Soto and Aaron Judge are together during the Yankees home opener against the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on April 5, 2024.

The production of the team’s top sluggers, along with a starting rotation that has surpassed expectations despite the absence of the injured Gerrit Cole, has propelled the Yankees back to the top of the AL East. Soto’s immediate impact has not only impressed Yankees officials and his current teammates but also former Yankee stars.

CC Sabathia, former New York Yankees star pitcher, expressed his belief that Juan Soto’s exceptional performance with the team was to be expected, given his experience with the Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres despite his young age.

Speaking at the BTIG event, Sabathia suggested that playing for the Yankees completes everything for Soto and that he appears comfortable and right in pinstripes. Sabathia also expressed his hope that the team and Soto can come to an agreement on a long-term deal.

Furthermore, Sabathia was not surprised by Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner’s public declaration of his desire to keep Soto with the team for the long haul. Sabathia believes that Steinbrenner is simply observing what everyone else has already noticed about Soto’s impact on the team and his seamless transition to playing in New York.

Cashman manages to evade four Yankees blunders


New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman has faced criticism from fans over the past five years due to the team’s poor roster construction, which has not met the high standards expected in the Bronx. Many have questioned how the team could overlook the acquisition of enough left-handed players.

However, when considering the bigger picture, Cashman’s accomplishments suggest he is likely a Hall of Fame executive, regardless of the reasons behind fans’ frustrations. While the 2024 Yankees roster has its shortcomings, the turnaround that Cashman has orchestrated cannot be ignored.

While some fans were clamoring for additional moves following the Juan Soto trade and Marcus Stroman signing, Cashman’s decision to stand pat before Opening Day may prove to be a blessing in disguise. Early indications suggest that some of the moves made by other teams are looking disastrous in the early stages of the season.

Cashman became a savior for the Yankees by avoiding signing Blake Snell, who reportedly turned down their initial $150 million offer. Had Snell accepted the deal, his season might have unfolded differently, benefiting from a regular offseason, full spring training, and the opportunity to team up with the Yankees’ talented pitching staff.

Former Yankees target Blake Snell is at a practice session with the Giants on March 20, 2024.

Instead, Snell’s offseason took a dramatic turn, forcing him to wait until March 19 to sign a last-minute deal with the San Francisco Giants, just a week before Opening Day. The delayed start appears to have taken a toll on Snell’s performance, as he struggled in his first few outings and recently landed on the injured list with a hip issue.

The Yankees can breathe a sigh of relief that they didn’t pursue a second attempt to sign Snell to a short-term, high-value contract.

Cashman’s decision to keep their pursuit of Wandy Peralta at arm’s length during the offseason may have been a wise move, despite the left-hander’s popularity among Yankees fans and his reputation as a fun, modern-day Yankee.

Peralta, who signed a four-year, $16 million contract with the San Diego Padres, has found himself in familiar territory this season, frequently putting runners on base and relying on his escape artist abilities to clean up the messes he creates.

Yankees Aim to Re-sign Star Reliever Wandy Peralta
USA Today Sports

Despite his largely successful performances for the Yankees, Peralta’s peripheral metrics have been a cause for concern in 2024. His FIP, which now stands at 4.49 and is not in line with his ERA. Additionally, his Baseball Savant page is filled with worrying blue indicators, suggesting that the wheels could fall off at any moment.

While Peralta’s ability to escape trouble has been a hallmark of his career, the Yankees’ front office may have been prescient in their decision not to actively pursue the left-hander during the offseason. As the season progresses, it will be interesting to see if Peralta can continue to navigate the tightrope he walks or if his luck will eventually run out.

Cashman also allowed the Yankees to escape Cody Bellinger and sign Alex Verdugo, who appears to be a far better choice.

While Bellinger may have the edge in terms of star power, Verdugo’s availability and situational hitting prowess make him the superior fit for the team’s needs.

Although Verdugo has yet to reach his peak performance, Bellinger’s early-season numbers were underwhelming, hitting just .220 with a .760 OPS in 22 games before fracturing his ribs and landing on the injured list. For the Yankees, a clean bill of health is paramount, and Bellinger’s injury history since 2020 would have been another costly expenditure that might have left fans wanting more.

Cody Bellinger is on the radar of the Yankees
Thearon W. Henderson

While Bellinger’s talent is undeniable, the Yankees’ decision to prioritize Verdugo may have been the right move from a public relations perspective. Having an additional star player sidelined by injury would have been less than ideal for the team and its fans.

Although there is still time for these players the Yankees passed on to change the narrative and make the team regret their decisions, for now, Yankees fans are content with the current roster and the success it has brought the team thus far. As of now Cashman looks to be on the positive side.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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One thought on “‘Stay tuned,’ Cashman promises to double down on best Yankees deal of his tenure

  1. While Cashman has made some good non moves, too many moves have either gone wrong or they got lucky. The Soto deal wasn’t as great as it sounds. Still traded all that high level pitching but also took back another player with a $5.5M salary. And let’s be honest, Grisham was brought here to ensure Esteban Florial would not be on the 2024 roster. He already made Cashman look bad when he replaced Dominguez.

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