Yankees’ star Juan Soto opens door to contract extension talks in positive interview

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Juan Soto, the newest player of the New York Yankees, was asked about the potential for a contract extension during a recent interview with reporters. In response to this question, Soto expressed openness to the idea of prolonging his stay in the Bronx.

The positive outlook on extension talks

Juan Soto, the new player of the Yankees during an interview via zoom

Soto was asked about the possibility of signing an extension with the Yankees while speaking with reporters on Tuesday, and it appears he’s more than open to the idea of sticking around.

In response to inquiries about signing an extension with the Yankees, Soto confidently stated, “They know where to call and who to talk to,” as reported by Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. This suggests a positive and receptive attitude from the player towards discussions about his contractual future with the team.

In what proved to be an otherwise subdued MLB Winter Meetings, the closing day witnessed a seismic shift as the New York Yankees orchestrated a blockbuster deal with the San Diego Padres, securing the services of baseball sensation Juan Soto. Widely hailed as one of the most accomplished young hitters in contemporary baseball, Soto, often likened to the legendary Ted Williams, injects immediate vigor into the Yankees’ lineup.

With his elegant left-handed swing, Soto promises to be a perfect match for the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium, solidifying a formidable partnership with star outfielder Aaron Judge and establishing one of the league’s most formidable duos.

During his inaugural Zoom interview since the move, Soto shared his enthusiasm for this fresh chapter in his career. Recounting the moment he received the news, he reflected, “When I received the call, I was actually engrossed in a Nintendo game with my friends. The call came from the Padres’ GM, and it was a whirlwind of emotions—both positive and negative. However, I felt like I was stepping into a remarkable organization. Being in this spotlight is truly exciting, and I am thrilled to be part of it for the upcoming season. I am genuinely happy to join the team.”

Soto revealed that key teammates such as Judge, Anthony Rizzo, Gleyber Torres, and Gerrit Cole have already reached out to him. Eagerly anticipating spring training to foster camaraderie, the 25-year-old outfielder is poised to become a valued presence in the Yankees’ clubhouse, having consistently demonstrated his prowess since his debut with the Nationals in 2018.

Having secured five top-10 finishes in MVP voting, three National League All-Star selections, and four Silver Slugger awards, Soto boasts an impressive résumé. Additionally, he clinched a World Series championship in his sophomore year at the tender age of 20. While postseason appearances have been sparse since then, Soto’s stellar performance remains unwavering.

Now thrust onto a grander stage with elevated expectations in New York, Soto is resolute in his commitment to propel the Yankees back into playoff contention following a disappointing campaign. Unperturbed by individual accolades, the outfielder emphasized, “All I care about is winning. I come to the field thinking about winning every day, and that’s what I want to do. I got a taste of it in 2019, winning the World Series and everything, and it was a great feeling. I want to try to do it again. I’m just trying to help the team win as much as we can—that’s the mindset, and that’s what I’m going to bring to the table.”

Soto’s Jersey number decision

Soto, who recently joined the New York Yankees for the 2024 MLB season in a trade with the San Diego Padres, has already made a notable decision regarding his tenure in the pinstripes. Choosing a jersey number at Yankee Stadium can be challenging due to the retirement of 22 numbers in the team’s history. However, Soto found it uncomplicated, opting for the number 22, which he has consistently used throughout his career in Major League Baseball. Notably, this number became available following its last use by Harrison Bader during his stint with the Yankees in 2022 and 2023.

The significance of selecting the number 22 is underscored by the Yankees’ rich history, with 63 different players having worn this jersey. The latest before Soto was Harrison Bader, adding another chapter to the legacy of the iconic number in the Bronx.

As discussions about a potential contract extension unfold, Juan Soto’s positive stance and the team’s recognition of the proper channels for negotiation indicate a collaborative approach towards securing his future with the New York Yankees. With the number 22 now adorning his jersey, Soto looks poised to carve out his own legacy in the rich tapestry of Yankees history.

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