Yankees’ Juan Soto Predicted to Sign $655 Million Deal in Free Agency

Juan Soto

Getty Yankees outfielder Juan Soto will be the top free agent available this winter. Predictions on his next contract involve some huge numbers.

The New York Yankees have been one of MLB’s best teams thus far in 2024. Outfielder Juan Soto has been a big part of the club’s early-season success. While the Bombers are paying him $31 million this year, the Scott Boras client is still slated to hit free agency in November. What will it take for the 25-year-old to sign on the dotted line this winter? That depends on who you ask.

ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel polled 28 executives, agents and insiders on several topics regarding Soto’s upcoming free agency. One area focused on what kind of contract he would eventually sign. There was a wide range of answers. Three people predicted he’d sign a deal for less than $400 million, but another three said he’d get more than $600 million. Among the 28 predictions, the highest was 10 years for $655 million.

While there might be some players in the league who think Soto is overrated, it’s hard to argue with his numbers. He instantly became a force in the batter’s box upon debuting in 2018 as a 19-year-old. He’s a three-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger Award winner and has won a batting title. Soto also helped the Washington Nationals win the 2019 World Series.

Through his first 298 trips to the plate with the Bombers in 2024, he’s slashing .316/.426/.594 with 17 home runs, 11 doubles, 53 RBI and 52 runs scored.

Many of Soto’s Contract Predictions Had a Common Theme

McDaniel provided all the details of the predictions from the people he spoke with. Eight think Soto will land a deal between $400 and $499 million. However, a whopping 14 think he’ll sign a deal worth between $500 and $599 million.

Boras and Soto rejected a 15-year, $440 million extension offer from the Nationals in 2022. So, one would imagine they’re at least aiming higher than that. After accounting for deferrals, Shohei Ohtani’s $700 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers has a net present value of $460 million and an annual average value of $46 million. McDaniel noted that those he spoke with think Boras will aim to beat both numbers.

The median of these contract predictions was 13 years and $500 million. That’s pretty close to the 14-year, $540 million projection The Athletic’s Tim Britton laid out in December.

Which Teams Are Expected to Pursue Soto This Winter?

Soto has the potential to be a generational talent. Every team would like to pencil him into their lineup. However, only a small handful are willing and able to commit a half-billion dollars to him for the next decade-plus.

“It’s still very early, of course, but the Yankees and Mets were by far the most common answer when discussing potential outcomes with our panel of baseball insiders,” McDaniel said. “Beyond them, the Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals, San Francisco Giants and Toronto Blue Jays were all brought up multiple times — but everyone else mentioned is seen as secondary to the New York clubs at this point.”

A potential bidding war between the Mets and Yankees has been brewing for months – even before Soto suited up for his first official game in pinstripes. Mets owner Steve Cohen and president of baseball operations David Stearns are expected to be aggressive once Soto hits the open market. Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner wants his payroll to dip below $300 million soon. It shouldn’t impact their pursuit of Soto, though.

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