Juan Soto puts pressure on Yankees by lobbying for top free agent pitcher

2024 New York Yankees Spring Training
2024 New York Yankees Spring Training / New York Yankees/GettyImages

Juan Soto's been a member of the New York Yankees for not even three months and the man is already trying to be an influential force. His introductory presser at spring training started to show fans that this man calls the shots.

It seems Aaron Judge has rubbed off on him quite positively, too (remember Judge's wink-wink comments about the Yankees potentially adding another pitcher?).

On Tuesday at spring training, Soto lobbied for his former Padres teammate Blake Snell as a possible Yankees signing. The Yanks and Snell reportedly remain in talks, but a deal is unlikely (so, yeah, we're confused about why they're still talking, too).

The Yankees are in a bit of a precarious financial spot, having to pay a 110% tax on the next AAV salary they inherit. For example, if Snell's hypothetical contract with the Yankees is five years and $150 million, it cannot be backloaded to avoid the tax -- Snell's AAV on that deal would be $30 million, so the Yankees would be paying $63 million for the 2024 season.

That, however, didn't stop Soto from calling Snell a "great fit" for the Yankees and talking about how it would be "unbelievable" to have him paired with fellow Cy Young winner Gerrit Cole atop the rotation.

Juan Soto puts pressure on Yankees by lobbying for top free agent pitcher

Soto played with Snell in San Diego for about a year and a half after he was acquired from the Washington Nationals. In 2023, he watched Snell lead MLB with a 2.25 ERA and bring home his second Cy Young award. The season prior, Snell logged a 3.38 ERA, 2.80 FIP and 1.20 WHIP across 24 starts. Not the greatest showing, but definitely darn good!

Anyway, what do you want Soto to say? "Well, yeah, Snell is great, but have you seen the Yankees' payroll?! Tough stuff. I feel bad for Hal Steinbrenner. Next question."

Soto may or may not have known what he was potentially doing here, but he was asked about a Snell addition and answered honestly. And he's right! Another Cy Young arm in this rotation would help the Yankees accomplish their 2024 championship aspirations.

Why does this constitute as possible "pressure" from Soto, then? Because the Yankees really need to do all they can to convince him New York is where he wants to be after 2024.

They can certainly achieve that without Snell ... but wouldn't some extra elite (and familiar!) firepower help out the cause?