How did a medical scare threaten to derail the Yankees’ Juan Soto trade?

Yankees latest acquisition Juan Soto was seen hitting against the Mariners at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, Washington, on July 11, 2023.

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The New York Yankees finally secured Juan Soto after a much-anticipated trade. However, just before the deal was completed, a medical scare emerged as the final obstacle and threatened to derail it.

As the news of the agreement broke out, baseball enthusiasts were expecting the finalization of the trade between the Yankees and Padres, which included six other players, Trent Grisham from San Diego and five from the Bronx. But there was prolonged suspense before the deal was officially sealed in the late hours of Wednesday night.

Throughout the day, reports suggested that the players involved had reached an agreement, but the deal faced a hurdle, causing delays and uncertainty from both sides. The impediment was identified when SNY’s Andy Martino revealed that it was the medical evaluations, specifically of at least one player transitioning from the Yankees to the Padres, that impeded the swift completion of the transaction. Despite causing some anxiety for the Yankees, San Diego eventually expressed confidence in the medical assessments, paving the way for the deal to proceed.

The medical examinations did not uncover any significant issues, particularly concerning a pitcher’s arm, as reported by Martino.

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

The biggest trade by the Yankees in recent years

The trade transaction involving the Yankees and Padres encompassed seven players. The Yankees acquired Juan Soto and outfielder Trent Grisham, while sending catcher Kyle Higashioka, pitchers Michael King, Drew Thorpe, Jhony Brito, and Randy Vasquez to New York.

It is logical for the Padres to meticulously assess all players involved in the trade, especially when acquiring one of the game’s premier talents. San Diego’s GM, A.J. Preller, mentioned shortly after the trade’s confirmation that the Yankees pursued Soto aggressively, but they are content with the returns, particularly emphasizing King’s role in the team’s 2024 rotation.

A day later, Yankees GM Brian Cashman lauded the strategic move and expressed enthusiasm for how Soto will elevate the team’s offensive prowess in the upcoming season.

Juan Soto has been in the spotlight as one of the New York Yankees' main targets during this offseason.
John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Cashman expressed that the acquisitions were undeniably a significant upgrade for the team. He highlighted the advantage of having a right-handed and a left-handed player in the ‘crazy 8s,’ emphasizing that this would create a more challenging lineup for opposing pitchers to navigate. Cashman acknowledged that there was more work ahead but conveyed excitement about the potential impact and balance these acquisitions could bring to the team. He expressed eagerness for the opportunity to bring these players on board.

The Yankees are assured of having Juan Soto for a single season, as the young outfielder is slated to enter free agency at the conclusion of the 2024 season. It remains intriguing to observe whether New York can secure a contract extension with him before that timeframe unfolds.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

One thought on “How did a medical scare threaten to derail the Yankees’ Juan Soto trade?

  1. There is absolutely no way Scott Boras allows Soto to sign an extension unless Soto really wants to be here long-term because of the Yankees annual mission of World Series or bust. Contract will be massive either way. Sure hope it is more than an expensive one year tental

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