The Yankees are making “serious” attempts to acquire Juan Soto

3:10 PM: Curry complained to the air that King, Thorpe, Brito, Vasquez and the catcher Kyle Higashioka All will be included in the trade (Video link) deal is not yet at the finish line, but could be completed this afternoon.

2:42 pm: Both sides are still sorting out the finer details and reviewing medical information, but Heyman Tweets A deal is expected to close soon. Both Soto and Grisham are expected to go to the Yankees.

1:47 pm: Joel Sherman of the New York Post Tweets Grisham is still involved in the ongoing talks between New York and San Diego after the Yankees acquired Verdugo. He will be used as a fourth outfielder and a late-inning defensive upgrade. His projected $4.9MM salary is a bit steep for that role, especially when factoring in the luxury tax implications associated with it, but the Yankees don’t care much about club payroll right now.

11:20 am: King is expected to be on the set for Soto And Thorpe, as well as “at least two” other players, Per John Morosi of MLB.comHe says a deal is very close to being finalised.

8:42 am: Talks between Yankees and Padres over star outfielder Juan Soto The night seems to have continued, and the Yankees have “intensified” their efforts to pry Soto from San Diego, according to Yes Network’s Jack Curry. reports. Curry calls a trade “potential” and refers to pitchers Michael King And Drew Thorpe Both can play. Jon Heyman of the New York Post Adds each except Thorpe and King Clark Schmidt, Chase Hampton, Johnny Brito And Randy Vasquez All have been discussed. Sure, the Yankees won’t be sending that entire arsenal, but there will be more in the package than Thorpe and King.

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A trade that would send Soto to the Bronx has been considered a possibility for most of the offseason, given the superstar slugger’s projected $33MM salary (via MLBTR contributor Matt Schwartz ). dangerously thin rotation mix) and the Yankees’ preference for aggressive and wide-ranging changes on the heels of a disappointing season. Earlier reports of negotiations between the two sides hinged on the Padres insisting on adding MLB rotation pieces, especially including King. Curry suggests that King and Thorpe are likely to be included in the deal, representing a concession of sorts from the Yankees.

If a deal does indeed go through, Soto would be the second outfielder acquired by the Yankees in as many days. New York traded unusually rare notes with their pitchers last night in Boston, landing a fellow corner outfielder. Alex Verdugo from the Red Sox in exchange for a three-player package. Soto and Verdugo will join Aaron Judge In the outfield, 2023 marked a major overhaul of a team that had been a weak point in the Bronx all season.

Even with Judge in the fold, the Yankees outfielders combined for a terrible .220/.293/.399 batting line last season. Even with the production of the 2022 AL MVP, the resulting 90 wRC+ suggests Yankees outfielders are 10% below average. Subtracting Judge from the equation, the Yankees outfielders combined to post a disastrous .214/.247/.365 batting line on the season.

A Verdugo-Judge-Sotto outfield would be more productive and would significantly reduce the Yankees’ strikeout woes; In 2023 Verdugo fanned at a rate of 15.4%, while Soto was not as high at 18.2%. Soto and Verdugo are both one-year deals in the outfield, as both are set to become free agents following the 2024 campaign.

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Presumably, the Yankees will regularly deploy Judge in center field this coming season, with Verdugo in left and Soto in right. The Padres and Yankees previously discussed including the San Diego center fielder Trent Grisham In a Soto collection, but Haeman Tweets Following the acquisition of Verdugo, Grisham is no longer likely to be a part of negotiations with the Saints. Although manager Aaron Boone could not formally comment on a potential acquisition of Soto, he agreed To Brendan Kutty of the Athletics And other reporters, the Yankees will be comfortable playing in the umpire’s field every day this coming season.

Roster resource already projects The Yankees have payroll north of $245MM and luxury tax obligations worth more than $256MM. Soto would push those numbers to $278MM and $289MM, respectively. The Yankees are already effectively at the second luxury tax threshold, meaning the penalties they face for including Soto’s salary in the fold could be steep. For the third consecutive season, the team will pay the luxury tax, paying a 62% tax on over $20-40MM and a 95% surcharge on the next $20MM. For Soto, that equates to about a $24.5MM fine top His projected salary is $33MM.

Of course, further changes could affect that salary and roster outlook. The Yankees star has been heavily linked with the NPB right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto And are seen as one of the favorites to land him. Even failing that, the Yankees may need to look for outside help in the rotation — especially if King and/or Schmidt are indeed part of a trade that adds Soto to them. Adding Soto and adding any real hint to the rotation (other than getting an umpire’s hand before inserting it into the mix) would push the Yankees into a newly created fourth tier of luxury punishment — often referred to as the “Steve Cohen line” of the Mets’ crosstown owner.

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