Steinbrenner seems ready to go beyond $500M for Juan Soto

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner is ready for Juan Soto extension talks while the 2024 season is on.
John Allen
Friday May 17, 2024

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Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner has made it abundantly clear that he wants to secure Juan Soto‘s future with the team. In an upcoming episode of Jack Curry’s “Yankees News & Views” podcast, Steinbrenner expressed his desire to see the Dominican slugger wearing pinstripes for the remainder of his career.

While acknowledging that both he and the player’s agent, Scott Boras, typically avoid in-season negotiations to prevent distractions, Steinbrenner emphasized that Juan Soto is a unique player in a unique situation and he was ready to break the tradition.

Steinbrenner’s admiration for Juan Soto, who will become a free agent this offseason, is evident in his eagerness to commence negotiations as soon as possible. He even hinted at the possibility of conversations taking place during the season, a departure from the usual approach. Steinbrenner stressed the importance of giving Juan Soto time to acclimate to his new surroundings and ensuring that he can envision a long-term future with the Yankees.

As the Yankees continue their pursuit of excellence on the field, securing Juan Soto’s long-term commitment has become a top priority for Steinbrenner. The young slugger’s immense talent and potential make him a valuable asset for any team, and the Yankees owner is determined to keep him in New York for years to come.

Yankees' Juan Soto is hitting his first homer at Yankee Stadium vs. the Marlins on April 8, 2024, and his cover athlete image on Topps Series 2.

In a departure from his typical strategy, Scott Boras, the agent representing Juan Soto, has expressed a willingness to engage in discussions with Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner regarding Soto’s future. Boras clients often wait until the offseason to make decisions on their next team, leveraging interest from multiple suitors to secure more lucrative deals. However, this approach did not yield the desired results for several of Boras’ clients in the previous offseason, with players like Blake Snell, Cody Bellinger, Jordan Montgomery, Matt Chapman, and J.D. Martinez settling for shorter-term, lower-value contracts.

Juan Soto, on the other hand, is in a league of his own. At just 25 years old, he is already considered a surefire Hall of Famer. In a conversation with Jack Curry, Boras expressed his openness to discussing the slugger’s future with Steinbrenner, emphasizing that the Yankees star is focused on getting to know the Yankees organization and winning.

Through his first 45 games and 206 plate appearances with the Yankees, Juan Soto has been nothing short of spectacular, batting .302/.304/.517 with nine home runs and 34 RBI, boasting a 167 OPS+. His presence has transformed the Yankees’ offense, propelling them to a 30-15 record and the second-best wRC+ in the majors.

Given that Juan Soto previously turned down a 15-year, $440 million offer from the Washington Nationals in 2022, the starting point for negotiations is expected to be in the $500 million range.

Juan Soto, the young baseball phenom, has made it clear that contract negotiations are in the hands of his agent, Scott Boras, and the New York Yankees. In a recent statement, he highlighted that if the Yankees wished to initiate discussions about his future with the team, they have the means to contact Boras directly. However, Juan Soto’s primary focus remains on the field, where he is dedicated to helping the Yankees win as many games as possible and ultimately secure a championship.

Yankees' Juan Soto, during the game against Minnesota Twins, on Thursday, May 16, 2024.

“If they want to call Scott and start talking about it, it’s up to them,” he said. “Scott, they know his phone number and everything. They know where to call. For me right here, I’m focusing on playing baseball. My thing is try to help the team to win as many games as we can and try to focus on winning a championship.”

How much the Yankees can bankroll Juan Soto’s new deal?

It is important to note that Juan Soto previously turned down a substantial 15-year, $440 million offer from the Washington Nationals in 2022, setting a high bar for any future contract negotiations. Industry insiders, including an American League executive and an agent, believe that Juan Soto could command a $500 million deal in free agency, as reported by Jon Heyman of the New York Post.

At just 25 years old, Juan Soto has established himself as one of the elite players in the game, making a hefty price tag less surprising, especially in light of Shohei Ohtani’s recent $700 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, which included a significant portion of deferred money.

Juan Soto, a baseball prodigy, has already achieved remarkable feats in his career, playing for the Washington Nationals, San Diego Padres, and now the New York Yankees. His impressive resume boasts a World Series championship, a batting title, four Silver Slugger awards, and three All-Star selections. This season, Soto continues to excel, posting a .310/.408/.530 slash line, with nine home runs, 34 RBI, and four stolen bases in 44 games.

Yankees' Juan Soto celebrates with Aaron Judge after hitting 440-ft homer against the Astros on May 8, 2024, at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees are also enjoying a fantastic start to the season, sitting atop the American League East with a 30-15 record. The partnership between Juan Soto and the Yankees seems ideal, but keeping this dynamic duo together beyond this season will require a significant financial commitment from the front office.

In 2022, during Aaron Judge’s record-breaking 62-home run season, the Yankees allowed him to reach free agency before ultimately signing him to a nine-year, $360 million deal. Given Juan Soto’s age and talent, he may command a contract closer to the 10-year, $700 million free agent deal that Shohei Ohtani recently signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, especially if billionaire Mets owner Steve Cohen enters the bidding war.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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One thought on “Steinbrenner seems ready to go beyond $500M for Juan Soto

  1. Soto turned down not the $440M amount, he turned down a less than $30M AAV. I’m looking at an offer of 11 or 12 years, at about an average of about $47.5M. Now, even if Soto says no, it’s not an offer that they can go out and just get from anyone because it was a common offer, like what Cashman pitifully offered Judge.

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