Why New York Yankees Boss Couldn’t Say No To Soto Trade

New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner is talking about why he just couldn’t say no to making the deal for Juan Soto.

Some deals in life you just can’t turn down. For New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner, the team’s signature offseason move was one of them.

The Yankees paid a steep price to acquire Juan Soto — catcher Kyle Higashioka, along with pitchers Michael King, Randy Vásquez, Jhony Brito and Drew Thorpe, the last a well-thought of prospect.

The San Diego Padres got all of that for Soto, along with another outfielder Trent Grisham.

Sometimes you just have to pay the price when it comes to a “generational player,” as Steinbrenner called him on Thursday during an interview. He told MLB.com that because of that, he simply couldn’t say no to the deal, even if Soto can be a free agent after the season.

Steinbrenner acknowledged that reality but followed that acknowledgement with “hopefully it’s not.”

Soto has been one of the most consistent young stars in baseball since he arrived as a rookie with the Washington Nationals in 2018.

Last season with San Diego he slashed .275/.410/.519/.930 with 35 home runs and 109 RBI. He broke his own career high in home runs by one and came within one RBI of tying his career high. He did all of that while earning his third All-Star Game berth and playing every game in a season for the first time.

It’s just one reason why it’s almost certain the Yankees will make some kind of a play to either extend or re-sign Soto in free agency next offseason.

But could Aaron Judge’s contract be a hindrance? When Judge was a free agent the Yankees signed him to a $360 million deal. Now that Shohei Ohtani has a $700 million, whoever signs Soto will likely pay him somewhere between Judge and Ohtani.

Does Steinbrenner care if he has to make Soto a higher-paid Yankee?

“I guess that’s an interesting question, but not one I’ve thought about,” Steinbrenner said. “I’m not sure Judge would care if we got Juan Soto for many years to come. But the market is what the market is, and he’s going to cost what he costs. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

For now, Steinbrenner is focused on 2024 and getting the Yankees back to the postseason after a one-year absence. Getting Soto, he believes, will help make that happen.

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