3 ways Yankees can take advantage of Padres slashing their budget

Everything! Must! Not be re-signed!
San Diego Padres v San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres v San Francisco Giants / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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Juan Soto, OF

Bingo. Want to offset the prospect cost for one year of a Soto trade, even though the package won't approach the initial price for 2.5 years of the superstar outfielder back in 2022? Eat half or more of Cronenworth's contract. That could be enough to remove Spencer Jones/Oswald Peraza from the package, which could be fronted by Everson Pereira, two or three of the Yankees' top-tier pitching prospects, and one or two FCL lottery tickets (that roster's been widely praised, you know).

Worried about where Soto fits in New York? Worry about that when he's extended. The Yankees spent most of 2023 playing Billy McKinney, Jake Bauers, Willie Calhoun and Isiah Kiner-Falefa in the outfield. They can certainly figure it out.

Aaron Judge in right field, Soto in left. Soto in right, Judge temporarily in center. Soto and Judge alternate DH days (Giancarlo Stanton cannot clog up the DH spot permanently any longer, whether the Yankees make a play for the Modern Ted Williams or not).

If the Yankees examine their 2023 roster and determine they have no room for Soto, that would be stupendously silly. Even in a "down year," Soto's still drilled 33 homers, snuck his average over .270 and sits at a 155 OPS+. To shake off an April/May slump the way he has only further proves he's generational. The Yankees whiffed the first time around, and Derek Jeter covets this guy. Why not try it out for a year before negotiating a long-term mega-deal?