Yankees Not Engaging in Extension Talks With OF Juan Soto: Report

Juan Soto

Getty The Yankees have not had extension talks with Juan Soto.

The New York Yankees made one of the biggest moves of the offseason when they acquired Juan Soto from the San Diego Padres. 25-year-old Soto won his fourth Silver Slugger Award in 2023 and joins a Yankees roster full of stars. However, the superstar’s future in a Yankees uniform may be a “one and done,” according to NJ.com’s Randy Miller.

Soto will hit free agency after the end of the 2024 season, and the Yankees “haven’t attempted to even explore what it might take to get an extension done,” Miller wrote.

Soto signed a $31 million contract this offseason, setting the record for an arbitration-eligible player. General manager Brian Cashman’s “expectation” is that Soto will go into free agency, according to Miller. While the market will dictate the type of deal Soto signs in free agency,  Tim Britton of The Athletic has projected a 14-year, $540 million contract for the outfielder.

“Our expectation is that he’s going to go into free agency,” Cashman said on March 16, according to Miller. “We’ve been transparent with that. Obviously, if something changed on that we wouldn’t create a party line with it. It’d be something that I’m sure that would just happen, but right now we haven’t had any conversations.”

Extending Soto Would Mean Keeping One of the Best Players in the League

Soto has already hit four home runs in Grapefruit League games as he prepares for the Yankees regular season. In 2023, He hit .275/.410/.519 with 35 home runs, 109 RBI and a .930 OPS. Soto won his fourth Silver Slugger Award, was elected to the All-Star Game and played in all 162 games. He also led the majors in walks with 132.

Soto will be represented by Scott Boras in contract discussions should he reach free agency. He has not turned down the idea of an extension with the Yankees and is “willing to listen,” Miller wrote.

“If they want to talk, they can talk with Scott,” Soto said, according to Miller. “It what it is. For me, like I’ve said, I’m going to play baseball. I’m part of the Yankees right now. I’m not going to worry about it.”

Keeping Soto Long Term Could Extend the Yankees Championship Window

The Yankees signed Aaron Judge to a nine-year, $360 million contract in 2023. Judge is locked in with the Yankees contractually through the 2031 season. Judge is not the only Yankees star under contract long-term. While he has opt-outs, ace Gerrit Cole will not be a free agent until 2029 if he does not opt out of his deal. Giancarlo Stanton will also hit free agency in 2029 if the Yankees exercise the club option for 2028.

Offensively, Soto is one of the best players in the majors. His ability at the plate goes beyond hitting home runs and driving in runs. He has already led the majors in walks three times in his career. He has also posted an OBP over .400 every year of his career.

Soto got on base in 2023 better than any Yankees player not named Aaron Judge has since 2020, according to Baseball-Reference. Soto, Judge and Stanton combined for 96 home runs in 2023 despite Stanton and Judge missing significant time. Keeping Soto around could make the Yankees offense a powerhouse for years to come.

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