Radio host foresees Juan Soto exiting Yankees for Mets in 2024 offseason
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During his first Zoom press conference, Yankees’ newly acquired star Juan Soto sparked a glimmer of hope for a contract extension after the upcoming season. However, WFAN’s host and Mets fan Sal Licata claims that the slugger will leave the Bronx after a year.
The way Juan Soto addressed inquiries about his future with the team, displaying a notable lack of commitment, led Licata to speculate that the three-time All-Star might not be envisioning an extended tenure in the Bronx beyond 2024. Licata, the host of the station’s midday show, entertains the idea that Juan Soto could be setting his sights on playing for the Mets in Queens.
Licata claims Juan Soto will dump Yankees for Mets
Licata, as reported by Audacy, suggested that Juan Soto’s familiarity with the Mets and the National League East from his time with the Nationals might influence his interest. Licata conveyed a feeling that Soto might have a genuine desire to join the Mets.
Licata acknowledged that such a notion might seem unconventional, considering the histories and prestige of the two franchises. However, they didn’t perceive a strong indication of Juan Soto leaning toward the Yankees. Licata emphasized that it didn’t seem like a desperate move from Soto’s end, mentioning Cohen’s influence and the financial aspect as significant factors in the decision-making process.
Licata goes to considerable lengths to reinforce his perspective, citing a video shared by MLB on X (formerly Twitter) on December 7. In the video, Juan Soto is seen requesting Yankees legend Derek Jeter‘s autograph, adding to Licata’s argument.
Initially appearing as a straightforward promotional video for the MLB Store, a closer examination, reminiscent of the Zapruder film analysis, reveals Juan Soto glancing at a Mets jersey first—eliciting a gasp-worthy revelation.
Sal remarked that in the video, the initial action Juan Soto took was approaching the Mets jersey and examining it closely. Sal concluded, “I believe Soto desires to join the Mets!”
Licata might find a more compelling argument in Juan Soto’s performance at Citi Field rather than constructing a theory based on a seemingly inconsequential video. Over 33 games (137 plate appearances) in Flushing, the four-time Silver Slugger boasts a .339 batting average and an impressive 1.165 OPS. His performance includes 17 extra-base hits, comprising 11 home runs and 25 RBI.
Gio doubts if Yankees can keep Soto away from free agency
On Tuesday, Boomer and Gio caught wind of the excitement among Mets fans, who were strongly inclined to believe that Juan Soto’s remarks during his introductory press conference hinted at his imminent journey into free agency, with Steve Cohen prepared to offer a substantial contract. Gio, however, considered this perspective a stretch by the optimistic Mets fanbase.
Gio reflected that there were moments when the player felt like a rental player, implying a temporary association. However, Gio cautioned against assuming that the player would join the Mets. He emphasized Juan Soto’s intention to explore the open market to assess his potential value. Gio pointed out the possibility of Steve Cohen and the Mets being an option, but he also highlighted the uncertainty of that outcome.
Nevertheless, given the tenor of Juan Soto’s statements and considering his representation by Scott Boras, it appears highly likely that the exceptional outfielder will indeed explore free agency in the coming winter.
Gio indicated that the player and his agent would likely enter the market seeking the highest financial offer at the end of the year. He expressed doubt that the Yankees would extend an offer to Juan Soto, suggesting that neither Scott Boras nor Juan Soto would consider such a deal, citing Boras’s approach to negotiations.
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