The New York Yankees need an infusion of talent this offseason on the mound, in the lineup, and in the decision room.
While there's plenty of pitching on the market, it's far tougher to address their offensive deficiencies in free agency. A recently fixed Cody Bellinger should be a sure thing, but isn't. The rest of the pool includes a lot of 7-8-9, and not a lot of 2-3-4. Unless ... the Yankees were to look to the trade market, where there's an obvious solution without a long-term commitment attached floating within the confines of the Padres' payroll structure.
San Diego, reportedly, wants to shed $50+ million worth of commitments, and dropping Soto's massive final year of arbitration would be a neat way to do that, especially if they don't have any further interest in the 10-year, $350 million deal that's soon to follow it.
Enter the Yankees, who former GM Jim Bowden just ranked as the most likely team to acquire Soto this winter, if he happens to get dangled. Brian Cashman wouldn't even have to guarantee Soto any long-term security (though he should probably, uh, also do that).
Yankees Juan Soto Trade Package: Everson Pereira, Michael King?
According to Bowden, Everson Pereira and Oswald Peraza would be the best Yankees prospects offered, with names like Jhony Brito and Michael King mentioned on the pitching side. Again, this would just be one year of Soto. The intention would be to slot Jasson Dominguez alongside Soto, not send him packing to obtain the more established player. Expect a few big-league ready names to change hands, as well as some of the Yankees' future stars at the FCL level. These Padres don't rebuild. They reload.
The nasty flip side of this little bout of enthusiasm? The Yankees may have ranked in Bowden's No. 1 spot, but ... the dreaded Red Sox came in second, with outfielder Alex Verdugo purportedly headed the other way.
Would Verdugo and his escalating arbitration salary really be preferred to a Pereira/Peraza package with all that pitching attached? It's just a season of Soto, after all...
If the Yankees pull off a Soto trade this offseason, it instantly reopens the contention window that Giancarlo Stanton's rapid regression recently closed. If the Red Sox new GM finalizes a deal instead, it's an instant death blow.
No pressure or anything. If you miss out, there's always Mark Canha.