The New York Yankees‘ roster is by and large set for 2022, especially after Sean Manaea was dealt to the San Diego Padres for a light prospect package. The Frankie Montas talks could heat up, but … again, the Yankees joining the fray seems unlikely.
They like their depth. Should they? Unclear. Do they? Absolutely. If Brian Cashman completes anything else before the horn, it’ll be a DFA, tuneup, or reconfiguring of mid-tier options.
Ex-MLB GM Jim Bowden is totally in line with that projection as well. That’s why he saved his predicted Yankees heavy lifting for after the season, when he claims they’ll upend their minor-league system entirely in the pursuit of one man: Juan Soto.
What? Forgive us for the spit-take, but it’s difficult to buy this. Nevertheless … his prediction, not ours.
According to Bowden’s column, posted on Monday in The Athletic (subscription required), the Yankees will extend Aaron Judge in a matter of days, but that won’t stop them from pulling off a seven-for-one deal and sending Anthony Volpe and six other big names to Washington in exchange for a disgruntled Juan Soto.
Uh … book it!
Yankees Rumors: extending Aaron Judge, trading for Juan Soto
And then, once completed, both Soto and Judge will play right field, unless the shift is banned, in which case Judge will be converted to a full-time first baseman.
According to Bowden, this scenario arises because the Nationals make one too many offensively low contract offers prior to the offseason and Soto finally snaps, leading to them accepting the Yankees’ overwhelming package.
For months, Soto has been primed to be the next Yankee fan pipe dream, following in the footsteps of players like Carlos Correa, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. Always kicking the can further down the line, fans seemingly have to convince themselves that New York’s braintrust isn’t cheap, but rather is reserving room for some superstar who will never arrive.
Soto, poised to become the consensus best player in the game soon as Mike Trout slows down, seems to be the next target of hope, followed by eventual ire.
If the Yankees are going to surrender Volpe for anyone, it’d probably be Soto and nothing less. But would New York’s famously stingy front office really ever offer a seven-player package for anyone?
A seven-player package highlighted by, presumably, mostly top-10 and top-15 prospects?
Put Juan Soto on the roster and you instantly improve this team’s immediate future, but we’ll believe a seven-for-one frustration blockbuster when we see it (literally never).