1. Juan Soto
You’ve heard the news. Juan Soto is likely to be traded before Aug. 2 after rejecting an historic contract from the Washington Nationals.
Is this the Yankees’ cup of tea? Not exactly. Cashman has historically been hesitant to go “over the edge” when it comes to surrendering prospects/young talent for established big-league studs. But perhaps Soto, a once-in-a-generation player, is a different story.
It’s going to take the haul of all hauls … but Soto comes with 2.5 years of control and decent AAVs that allow the Yankees to work within their self-imposed financial restraints while also allowing them to re-sign Aaron Judge (if that’s part of the plan). Forget about paying Soto $500 million after 2024. Let the next few years play out and try to win a championship or two. Seems reasonable!
Trade for Soto (it’s likely going to cost four or five of the team’s top prospects and one or two young major league players), plop him in left field, go for a World Series now, use that revenue to address the rotation, infield and bullpen in the offseason, and see what you can do in 2023 and 2024, which should be two more premier contending years.
Like Castillo, there will be a ton of competition here, but the Yankees are of the few top teams in the league that have the organizational depth to make it happen. If that means the Yankees have to pivot with their shortstop/starting pitching plans because Anthony Volpe and Ken Waldichuk might be traded, then so be it. For Soto, it’s worth it, and there’s plenty more talent ready to rocket through the pipeline.
And again, the Yankees have plenty of money, so they can afford to spend a little bit more the next few offseasons if it means getting to the Fall Classic (potentially) three straight times.