Brian Cashman's comments on Juan Soto bode well for massive Yankees contract

Oh baby. Pay him.
Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees / Mike Stobe/GettyImages

Juan Soto has been the difference for the New York Yankees in 2024. There's absolutely no debating that. It's kind of crazy when you think about it, too. The Yankees shouldn't need Soto to succeed with the rest of the (theoretical) talent on this roster, but that's what happens when money isn't exactly spent wisely.

Either way, it's apparent Soto is integral to the current and future success of this team, which has accelerated conversations about his long-term future in New York (no, not with the Mets, shut up).

The expectation is that he is going to hit free agency and test the market, but the Yankees are said to be serious about retaining him. At least, that's the chatter among reporters, which fans always must take with a grain of salt, considering things shift on a dime in the MLB world.

What fans will buy into, however, are comments from general manager Brian Cashman, who usually plays his hand close to the vest (outside of his wild, wild rant at the GM Meetings this past winter).

His latest assessment of Soto certainly bodes well for the two sides to come to an eventual agreement because Cashman essentially admits here that the MVP-caliber slugger has changed a whole lot for a Yankees team that was lost just a few months ago.

Brian Cashman's comments on Juan Soto bode well for massive Yankees contract

Hmmm ... think the Yankees have cracked the formula? Talented players with actual, lively personalities? Instead of just robots who happen to have some (or outdated) baseball abilities?

Cashman alluded to "closed off" and "guarded" individuals not exactly cutting it in New York, and talked about how Soto is "open" and "engaging" with the fans and with his body language -- all in a positive way. Just think of the many game-altering moments thus far. Soto has been adding to the energy with his emotions and theatrics.

This isn't to criticize any one player on the Yankees roster, but it's a symptom of a larger problem. Over the last decade or so, the front office has done little work on improving the human element of the game. The star players they've acquired and kept for the long haul -- Gerrit Cole, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton -- don't exactly wear their emotions on their sleeves and offer a contagious, momentous spirit.

Even the others Cashman has signed to longer-term pacts -- like Masahiro Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, Aaron Hicks, DJ LeMahieu, etc. -- were similar in the personality department. If those guys are going to be your "stars," then there needs to be a more energetic supporting cast.

Or, you know, just pay $500 million for the star with those personality traits. That's what Cashman seems to be hinting at with his latest appearance on MLB Network Radio.