Juan Soto’s agent Boras imparts Yankees wisdom on high-stake deals

Yankees manager Aaron Boone talks with Juan Soto's agent Scott Boras at Angel Stadium on May 29, 2024.

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ANAHEIM, Cailf. – Amid the Yankees’ payroll concerns, Juan Soto‘s agent Scott Boras reminded the franchise of the value of his client beyond budget limitation on Tuesday at Anaheim. While presenting his client as an inner circle Hall of Famer, he didn’t mind imparting Yankees a business lecture.

Dubbing Soto a “centurion” – one among top 100 in MLB history – Boras reminded the Yankees that the value of the outfielder was above mere player salaries and he was going to be “a franchise appreciation addition” no matter how much one spends on him. He even warned if owners would fret over a $300 million payroll, the slugger was likely to consider his future in pinstripes.

The agent was present at Angel Stadium, during the Yankees’ 4-3 loss, as his client, Juan Soto, launched a 424-foot solo home run in the first inning and later drove in another run with a single during Tuesday’s game. The outfielder, representing the potential tying run, ended the game with a sharp fly out to right field.

Boras ups Juan Soto pitch for Yankees

According to Boras, players, such as Juan Soto, should not be seen as financial burdens but rather as assets capable of significantly enhancing a franchise’s worth by billions.

“So, whatever your franchise is worth, a centurion on your team would thereby make the team worth billions more,” Boras said. “So, whatever your franchise is worth, a centurion on your team would thereby make the team worth billions more.’’

Yankees' Juan Soto jumps to celebrate his homer against the padres that came in the backdrop of boos at San Diego on May 24, 2024.

At 25 years old, Juan Soto unequivocally falls into the “centurion” category. Boras stressed the rarity for owners encountering such investment opportunities in their careers. He also touched on another client Gunnar Henderson, a 22-year-old with the Baltimore Orioles, as possibly nearing this status.

Recently, Hal Steinbrenner, the Yankees owner, recently expressed concerns about the financial sustainability of the current payroll levels for the organization. He raised concerns about the sustainability of current payroll levels, particularly considering the luxury tax obligations. Despite this, Hal highlighted upcoming payroll reductions after the season and expressed keen interest in securing Juan Soto for an extended tenure in the Bronx.

Boras, representing Soto, has a lecture for Steinbrenner. “The opportunity for investment like this comes along in an owner’s career very rarely,” he said. “When you have generational talents … , they’re not really a part of the budget. They are part of how you grow assets. They are a different breed. The only cost concern is the cost of the monument.”

Boras underscored Juan Soto’s remarkable attributes, citing his rare trajectory as one of the few 25-year-olds with a major league career since age 19, a World Series victory (with the 2019 Washington Nationals), and a trajectory poised to set numerous performance records.

Deal of no deal?

The agent acknowledged a robust communication channel with Steinbrenner but remained discreet about specific discussions preceding the Yankees-Angels series opener. The Yankees boss signaled openness to exploring a long-term deal with Juan Soto before his impending free agency in November, although the likelihood of reaching such an agreement seems slim.

With Juan Soto’s projected cost potentially exceeding $500 million, his stellar performance and strong rapport with the Yankee Stadium crowd could inflate his value even further. Boras drew parallels to another of his record-breaking clients, Alex Rodriguez, highlighting the rarity of players with the potential and value to significantly impact any major league franchise.

These “centurion” players, he stressed, are pivotal for business, on-field performance, and championship aspirations. Boras’s remarks underscored the unique and lucrative nature of securing talents like Juan Soto in the fiercely competitive realm of professional baseball.

The agent also expressed satisfaction when discussing Juan Soto’s adaptation and comfort in New York, pointing to his consistent performance across various MLB ballparks. Boras stressed that the slugger was thriving in environments of winning, competition, and championship contention, enabling him to flourish under the spotlight.

Boras on Gerrit Cole’s opt out

Regarding another prominent client, Gerrit Cole, Boras addressed the pitcher’s contract situation with the Yankees. Cole has the option to opt out of his current deal after the season, but the Yankees have the opportunity to prevent this by extending his contract for an additional year and $36 million. Boras indicated that both Cole and Juan Soto are presently focused on on-field matters, with Cole actively engaged in preparations for his return to pitching.

Boras disclosed his recent conversation with Cole, noting the pitcher’s positive outlook and dedication to his rehabilitation process. Despite Cole’s absence from the mound due to a March diagnosis of right elbow irritation, the agent conveyed confidence in his client’s imminent return to bolster the Yankees’ pitching rotation.

Highlighting the shared commitment of both Cole and Juan Soto to the team’s success, Boras emphasized their eagerness to contribute to the Yankees’ championship aspirations.

But question remains if the Yankees boss is willing to keep his team’s payroll at present levels or even increase it.

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