Juan Soto sweepstakes to start titanic tug-of-war between Yankees, Mets

Yankees' Juan Soto responds to cheers as he appears at Yankee Stadium for the first time in pinstripes on April 5, 2024.

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Despite the adoration showered upon him by the New York Yankees faithful, rumors swirl about Juan Soto‘s long-term future in the Bronx. While currently basking in a warm reception from Yankees fans, recent reports suggest his camp may not reject big money from crosstown rivals, the New York Mets, when he reaches free agency.

According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, both the Yankees and Mets are eager to secure Juan Soto’s services. The Yankees, naturally, are keen on retaining their star outfielder, while sources within the Mets organization indicate their intention to pursue him aggressively. Adding fuel to the fire, agents like Scott Boras, who represents Juan Soto, hint at a potential record-breaking contract exceeding $500 million. Olney suggests this competition between the two New York teams could escalate into a historic bidding war, pushing salary benchmarks for Major League Baseball to unprecedented levels.

Since arriving from the San Diego Padres in a December trade, Juan Soto has quickly become a fan favorite in New York. He’s established himself as a cornerstone for the Yankees, who despite a recent three-game skid, had a strong start to the season. Looking at his performance so far, statistics speak volumes: Soto entered Wednesday’s game tied for the MLB lead with 16 walks, boasting an impressive .324 batting average and a .947 OPS. He’s already smashed three home runs and driven in 15 runs in just his first 18 games donning the pinstripes.

Earlier reports suggest that neither Soto nor his agent are inclined to offer the Yankees a discount, either before or shortly after he’s eligible for free agency this fall.

Olney’s analysis raises the intriguing possibility of Juan Soto surpassing the record-setting contract secured by two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani with the Los Angeles Dodgers this past offseason. While Ohtani’s deal includes a $2 million salary for next year, Olney speculates that Juan Soto’s consistent performance, coupled with his strong connection to the Yankees and their fans, could potentially command a salary 25 times greater. This astronomical sum would make him the first player in MLB history to reach a $50 million salary in a single season.

“The Yankees will aim to retain him, and sources within the Mets organization have said that team intends to make a run, too,” he said. “Agents speculate that the two big numbers that Scott Boras, Soto’s agent, will target are $500M in a total package, as well as the record for any position player…While there might be other teams involved in the chase, all he really needs to push salary benchmarks is to be the object of a Yankees versus Mets bidding war.”

Mets’ deep pockets to challenge Yankees for Juan Soto

Apr 1, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; New York Yankees outfielder Juan Soto against the Arizona
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Although the offseason may seem like a distant thought amidst the heat of summer baseball, the New York Mets are already generating headlines with their potential pursuit of superstar outfielder Juan Soto. Mets owner Steve Cohen, known for his substantial financial resources, appears prepared to outbid any competitor in an effort to acquire Soto’s services, signaling a potential spending spree unlike anything the team experienced last winter.

However, the team faces a crucial decision beyond Juan Soto’s acquisition. Fan favorite Pete Alonso, their starting first baseman, is also approaching free agency after this season. While Alonso’s power-hitting has endeared him to the Mets faithful, some speculate that team president of baseball operations David Stearns might be hesitant to invest a massive contract in a slugger nearing 30 years old by December.

The intense competition between the crosstown rivals for Juan Soto’s services, coupled with Alonso’s uncertain future, ensures that the New York baseball scene will remain a hotbed of speculation and intrigue for the foreseeable future.

Will there be a swap?

Juan Soto’s seamless transition to the bright lights of New York has left the Yankees yearning to make the prolific slugger a long-term fixture in the Bronx. As the 25-year-old phenom approaches free agency following the 2024 campaign, the pinstripe powers aim to ward off potential suitors in what promises to be an epic bidding war.

His scintillating start in pinstripes, headlined by an MVP-caliber 1.055 OPS with four homers and 17 RBIs through 19 games, has only fortified the Yankees’ resolve. His presence has propelled an underachieving 2023 squad to a blistering 13-6 start atop the rugged AL East. Yet retaining Juan Soto’s services won’t come cheap, nor easy.

Damian Priest meets Yankees star Juan Soto at Yankee Stadium on April 9, 2024.

The Yankees mortgaged a bevy of promising prospects to pry Juan Soto from San Diego, a steep investment for a potential one-year rental. Moreover, the crosstown Mets loom as potential roadblocks, with whispers of their willingness to enter the Juan Soto sweepstakes echoing through the canyons of the city. An unprecedented bidding frenzy between the big-spending behemoths could ensue.

Amid the bright lights and lucrative riches, one facet is clear: securing Juan Soto’s thunderous bat is of paramount importance to the Yankees’ pursuit of an elusive 28th championship. Once an understated trade acquisition, he has rapidly blossomed into the club’s top long-term priority, the fulcrum upon which future title quests could hinge.

Bronx loyalists shudder at the thought of Steve Cohen’s deep pockets luring Juan Soto away with a record-shattering contract offer. Yet the Yankees’ brass remains undeterred, crafting contingencies should their crosstown rivals secure the coveted slugger’s services.

According to insiders, losing the Juan Soto sweepstakes would prompt the pinstripers to intensify their pursuit of Mets’ All-Star masher Pete Alonso. The big-hitting first baseman’s power prowess could provide an ideal stopgap as the Yankees refocus their long-term vision. However, securing both Juan Soto and Alonso appears an improbability for the Mets due to luxury tax implications, potentially igniting a high-stakes game of musical chairs between the big-spending behemoths.

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One thought on “Juan Soto sweepstakes to start titanic tug-of-war between Yankees, Mets



    …., ENOUGH SAID !!!!.

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