Jan 12 D-Day for Yankees to fix Juan Soto’s salary

A painting presentation celebrating the Yankees' signing of Juan Soto via trade with the Padres.

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The New York Yankees have successfully secured their coveted power hitter, Juan Soto. However, the celebration is accompanied by a substantial financial commitment. Juan Soto, along with nine other Yankees, falls under the arbitration-eligible category, necessitating negotiations for contracts or potential arbitration hearings before Spring Training, with a deadline set for January 12, 2024.

How much Yankees have to pay to Juan Soto

Within this array of arbitration cases, Juan Soto emerges as a prominent figure. Spotrac.com projects a staggering potential salary of $29 million for him, aligning him with teammate Gleyber Torres as one of the two Yankees likely seeking contracts in the eight-figure range.

Juan-Soto-new-york-yankees
kxan.com

The Yankees aim to steer clear of an arbitration hearing, a public and intricate process where a panel determines Juan Soto’s salary based on his performance and comparisons with other players. Not only is this process potentially messy, but a substantial award could impede the team’s efforts to secure a long-term agreement with Soto.

This endeavor is no small feat, given that Juan Soto, despite being only 25 years old, boasts an impressive track record. He has consistently landed in the top 10 in MVP voting four times, securing a sixth-place finish in 2023. In the 2023 season, Juan Soto showcased his prowess by achieving a notable .275/.410/.519 batting line, accompanied by 35 home runs and 109 RBI. This stellar performance earned him his third All-Star appearance, and he played a full 162 games for the first time.

With a proven history of excellence and a trajectory pointing toward elite potential, Juan Soto holds a strong position in negotiations. Whether the Yankees can reach a settlement or face the arbitration panel, one certainty remains: the team’s financial resources need to be prepared for the resonating impact of a Soto-sized contract.

Yankees' Juan Soto is shopping at a New York store.
MLB

Three other Yankees face arbitration decisions

While acquiring Juan Soto marked a significant move, the New York Yankees now face another financial challenge – arbitration. A total of ten Yankees, including key contributors, qualify for arbitration, implying that their 2024 salaries will be determined through negotiations or arbitration hearings before the onset of Spring Training.

Headlining the arbitration class is second baseman Gleyber Torres. In his final year of eligibility, Torres could potentially command a substantial sum, with estimates approaching $14 million. This comes after an impressive 2023 season where he posted a .273 batting average, accompanied by 25 home runs and 68 RBI.

Gleyber-Torres-new-york-yankess
X-@yanksfanf0rlife

The addition of outfielders Alex Verdugo and Trent Grisham introduces further arbitration complexities to the Yankees. Verdugo, acquired from the Red Sox, might secure a deal exceeding $9 million, while Grisham, formerly with the Padres, could command over $5 million.

In addition to these high-profile figures, several pitchers round out the list: Clay Holmes, Nestor Cortes, Clarke Schmidt, Jonathan Loaisiga, and Victor Gonzalez. The outcomes of their arbitration proceedings will significantly contribute to the Yankees’ overall payroll landscape.

Successfully navigating these negotiations is paramount for the Yankees. Each agreement holds implications for their future financial flexibility, especially with Juan Soto – a long-term target – on the horizon. Striking the right balance between acknowledging past performance and safeguarding future cap space is the intricate dance that the Yankees must execute before the arbitration deadline on January 12th.

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