Chemistry with Judge fuels fresh faith in Juan Soto accepting long-term Yankees deal

Star sluggers Aaron Judge and Juan Soto are chatting during the Yankees 2024 spring training in Tampa, FL.

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The seeds of Juan Soto‘s Yankees journey were sown with a phone call. Back in December, Aaron Judge reached out to his new teammate, and the conversation crackled with mutual excitement about the possibility of becoming teammates.

The reality has exceeded Juan Soto’s expectations. He’s relished forging bonds with Aaron Judge and other Yankees during spirited batting practice sessions. These energetic practices are a melting pot of activity, with players engaging in friendly home run derbies, strategizing game plans, and even indulging in playful bunting contests – a skill likely unnecessary for either player in a real game, but a testament to the camaraderie developing within the team.

“He’s been good. He’s even better than what I expected,” Juan Soto said of Aaron Judge. “I knew he was a great guy, but I didn’t know he was that good. Everything [about] his vibe, everything’s good. He’s just thinking positive and he’s trying to win as much as he can.”

Juan Soto’s admiration for Aaron Judge reaches new heights as the captain exceeds his expectations. While anticipating greatness, he is in awe of his captain’s transformative spirit. Aaron Judge’s radiant positivity and relentless drive elevate their interactions, solidifying him as an unparalleled unifier. The slugger’s testimony paints a portrait of a peerless pinstriped force that augurs well for the Yankees during the regular season and afterward when Juan Soto enters free agency.

Juan Soto-Aaron Judge synergy sparks Yankees optimism

Aaron Judge‘s support for Juan Soto appears to have blossomed well before their current pinstriped partnership. Back in 2022, during the All-Star Game festivities, he publicly lauded Juan Soto as a leader who could elevate any team’s performance. He even went so far as to express his enthusiasm about the possibility of them becoming teammates.

Aaaron judge and juan soto, players of the new york yankees

These comments coincided with rumors swirling about Juan Soto’s potential trade due to contract extension impasses with the Nationals. While Juan Soto was ultimately dealt to the Padres after rejecting a significant contract offer in Washington, negotiations stalled again in San Diego, ultimately leading to the unexpected twist of fate that united him and Aaron Judge in New York.

For now, the budding friendship is giving the Yankees hopes for a revival and keeping Juan Soto in pinstripes for a lengthy period. On his part, Aaron Judge is doing it perfectly.

The captain admires Juan Soto’s prowess, once he observed from afar and now flourishes up close. Engaging directly, Aaron Judge dives into his new teammate’s mental game – dissecting approach, preferences, and on-field tactics. He believes fostering this rapid rapport will pay dividends, forging a formidable partnership built on trust and understanding.

“I’ve admired his work from afar for a while, so now [I’m] getting a chance to pick his brain and talk to him about his approach,” the Yankees cpatain said. “What he likes to do, what he doesn’t like to do, stuff in the outfield, communicating. The quicker we can get on the same page and get to know each other, the better we’ll be in the long haul.”

In his role as the Yankees’ captain, Aaron Judge emphasized his efforts to extend a warm welcome to all the team’s newcomers, including Juan Soto, Alex Verdugo, Marcus Stroman, and various others. However, much of the spotlight has naturally focused on Juan Soto’s integration, given his reputation as one of the premier left-handed hitters in baseball presently.

Yankees pin hope on Aaron Judge to tie up Juan Soto with pinstripes


While all parties involved, including Yankees GM Brian Cashman, acknowledge the possibility of Juan Soto testing free agency waters, the immediate focus is on his on-field performance this season. Cashman has been clear: contract extension talks won’t happen before the season ends, suggesting a “one-year arrangement” before the slugger becomes a free agent.

However, there’s an underlying hope that Juan Soto will have a positive experience in New York, potentially influencing his decision to stay long-term. The groundwork for this has already begun, with efforts underway to make him feel valued and integrated within the organization.

Aaron Judge conveyed his sentiments, expressing that Juan Soto belonged with the New York Yankees. He articulated his desire to see Juan Soto’s first year with the team as a memorable one, aiming for it to be his most remarkable season. According to the captain, if his new teammate feels comfortable and performs at his best, it would undoubtedly bring the Yankees closer to a World Series victory. He is committed to doing whatever is necessary to ensure Soto remains comfortable and empowered to perform at his best.

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