Juan Soto's latest expensive purchase hints at Yankees future

Otherwise...why would you want that?
Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees
Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

Either Juan Soto really wants to remember his one year as a Yankee, or he'd like to stick around a little bit longer.

Last week, alarm bells went off in Yankees Universe when Hal Steinbrenner hinted he'd like to start talking extension with Soto's people, followed by Scott Boras noting that he loves talking to Hal (and talking in general) and Soto noting that the Yankees always know where to find him. It's still unlikely that the two sides shake hands and finish things off midseason, but early talks are at least a good opportunity to find common ground and lay the foundation for a successful offseason.

Clearly, both Soto and Steinbrenner can already agree on one thing: the slugger looks good in pinstripes.

At the Yankees' Welcome Home dinner this past weekend, someone paid $16,000 for an expensive portrait of Soto in uniform rocking the interlocking NY. That someone? Juan Soto.

Yankees star Juan Soto acquires long-term (?) painting

Would be a pretty weird centerpiece if you intend to bolt for the Mets. Just saying. "Yeah, that's an expensive portrait of me wearing the uniform of the fanbase that despises me now. Anyway ... want some crudite?"

Free agency could certainly go awry, sure, but Steinbrenner's intent on completing the Soto trade was to keep the 25-year-old around for quite a while, which he reiterated last week. This was never a pure one-year rental. The goal was always a long-term relationship, and both sides seem to be advancing towards achieving that somewhat as the season carries on. And if there's one thing the Yankees are comfortable floating big pots towards, as evidenced by their $300 million Yoshinobu Yamamoto offer, it's 25-year-old talents hitting the open market.

A purchased portrait doesn't mean a contract has been signed, sealed and delivered (directly to Ben Yoel). What it does mean, though, is that being a Yankee is special enough for Soto that he was compelled to lock down a permanent memory of the 2024 season in his private home. If that's how he feels already, then why wouldn't he agree to stay as long as the money's right?

As Boras said last week, "[Soto] is getting to know the Yankees organization." While the super agent might have hoped that the "getting to know you" period was handled a little more subtly, Soto just screamed with his wallet that he knows his current franchise pretty well, as well as how to endear himself to the fanbase. Now, it's a waiting game, but one that's situated on a positive trajectory.