Juan Soto antsy to know the next team amid offers from five

Juan Soto is the most important trade target of the Yankees in the 2023 offseason.
John Allen
Tuesday December 5, 2023

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Yankees trade prospect Juan Soto finds himself in his native Dominican Republic, eagerly anticipating the unavoidable developments. As per Randy Miller’s report on NJ.com, Juan Soto is indifferent about his next destination recognizing that the Padres have no intention of retaining him. However, he is restless to know where they are trading him

Additionally, Miller mentioned that Juan Soto would express contentment in joining either the Yankees or Blue Jays, the leading contenders for a potential trade. Nevertheless, Juan Soto’s primary concern is simply gaining clarity on the team he will be representing.

The outfielder, a three-time All-Star, urges the Padres to conclude negotiations and finalize a trade, regardless of whether it involves a transfer to the Bronx or any other destination.

Juan Soto impatient to know his next team

Yankees' target Juan Soto during a game in the World Baseball Classic

Ahead of this week’s Winter Meetings that commenced on Sunday night at Gaylord Opryland Resort, a reliable NJ Advance Media source, a veteran in Major League Baseball, shared insights into Juan Soto’s current mindset.

According to the source, in text exchanges with Juan Soto last week, the 25-year-old outfielder expressed eagerness for the Padres to finalize a deal. His anticipation is rooted in the desire to shift his focus from the uncertainties surrounding his future to preparing for the upcoming 2024 season.

The source conveyed that he just wants it to be over with. The source mentioned that he doesn’t care about where he goes, emphasizing that he is aware the Padres won’t be keeping him. Therefore, he wishes for them to trade him.

What are Juan Soto’s thoughts on the prospect of a potential agreement with the Yankees? They were initially considered the leading contenders for a deal until the recent emergence of the rival Blue Jays as the new frontrunners in the past few days.

The source mentioned that he would be pleased to go to the Yankees, but he would also be content with going to Toronto. The source conveyed that he has expressed a lack of concern about the specific location where he plays. Instead, he emphasized the importance of knowing the team for which he will be playing.

The Padres are in need of significant payroll reduction this winter, and Juan Soto is likely to be part of the cost-cutting measures as he is projected to earn approximately $32 million in 2024, which is his walk year to free agency. The Padres’ offseason has witnessed changes in management, the unfortunate passing of a beloved owner, and a lack of major-league acquisitions by a team aiming to bolster its pitching staff without significantly increasing the current projected payroll of around $189 million. It appears that major player transactions may be on hold until SanDiego president A. J. Preller decides to either trade Juan Soto or, in a surprising move, signals an intention to retain the star outfielder.

“Specifically with Juan, yeah, that takes us down different paths, for sure,” Preller said Monday. “It’s all about, like, making the best decisions possible, whether that’s holding him and adjusting other spots, whether that’s holding him because we feel like we have other pitchers that we can line up within our budget, or listening to hear what other people have. So I think it’s not going to be, ‘Hey, we need a decision … by this time.’ It’s just going to be what’s the best decisions we can have on any of these calls.”

A potential agreement might be concluded before the conclusion of the Winter Meetings, possibly in time for Wednesday morning’s Rule 5 draft.

Five teams present offer for Juan Soto

Padres star and Yankees target Juan Soto at Petco Park in 2022.
Jose Soto Pacheco

The momentum grows in the discussions surrounding a prospective trade for San Diego Padres’ standout Juan Soto. Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports that five distinct teams have submitted offers to the organization in their efforts to secure the services of the three-time All-Star.

Leading the group of interested teams are the New York Yankees, actively involved in negotiations with San Diego over the past few days, though progress seems to be stalled at the present moment.

According to Heyman, Juan Soto’s market is relatively constrained due to his arbitration salary set at $32 million and the likelihood that he won’t commit to a contract extension, irrespective of the eventual destination.

As the offseason progresses, the likelihood of the Padres trading Juan Soto has grown, marking nearly 18 months since San Diego initially acquired him in a significant trade leading up to the 2022 MLB trade deadline.

Despite being considered one of the top five players in the sport, the Padres are compelled to reduce their substantial $249 million payroll. An executive conveyed to Heyman that keeping Juan Soto would require the organization to “take out another loan.”

San Diego has not presented Juan Soto with a proposed new contract as originally planned. Given that this is the same player who rejected a $440 million offer from the Washington Nationals a few years ago, the Padres probably face challenges in reaching an agreement with Juan Soto.

The 25-year-old seems firmly committed to entering free agency next year.

Regarding the Yankees, they currently appear to be leading the pack in potential deal discussions. However, they have been hesitant to surrender all the assets requested by San Diego. The Padres are reportedly seeking reliever-turned-pitcher Michael King and pitching prospect Drew Thorpe, both of whom New York is unwilling to include in the deal.

San Diego is also seeking the inclusion of young pitchers Jhony Brito, Randy Vasquez, and two additional prospects in exchange for Juan Soto and center fielder Trent Grisham.

San Diego outfielder Juan Soto

Padres are bound to part way with Juan Soto

In 2022, Juan Soto rejected a $440 million, 15-year offer from the Nationals before being traded to San Diego. As a free agent, he is expected to seek an even higher figure.

According to the NJ Advance Media source familiar with Juan Soto, agent Scott Boras is likely to initially request approximately $550 million for a 13-year contract. The source speculated that Juan Soto might ultimately agree to a deal in the range of $450 million.

Is it probable for the Yankees to reach such a figure? It seems unlikely. Although Hal Steinbrenner has publicly stated his willingness to entertain any acquisition that enhances the Yankees, there is a belief that he prefers to keep Aaron Judge as the highest-paid player on the team.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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