Will Juan Soto consider an extension with the Yankees before he hits free agency next winter? No offense, but talk to his agent. He's here to win -- though he did slip up and say "championships," plural, at his introductory press conference.
Regardless of when -- or if -- Soto chooses to reengage the Yankees on a long-term pact, rest assured it will be costly. Perhaps one year spent in NYC gets Soto the type of endorsements that allowed Shohei Ohtani to defer 97% of his annual salary into the deep future, but that seems unlikely. If the match between the two parties truly is made in heaven, that'd be fantastic. It'll still cost the Yankees between $450-$500 million in total.
Carlos Rodón costs money, too. Over $25 million per year, to be clear. Gerrit Cole seems likely to opt out, only to be sent back onto the roster by Hal Steinbrenner's pen. Aaron Judge makes $40 million annually. Giancarlo Stanton, a relative bargain, is in the low 20s. The Yankees can afford whatever they want. They make an unceasing profit. They can throw caution to the wind like Steve Cohen's Mets. But ... they usually don't, and even the most needy fan has to admit that a long-term pact for Soto would mean an awful lot of thick, extended-release contracts on the books.
MLB insider Ken Rosenthal illuminated that point in his Wednesday update on Yoshinobu Yamamoto's market, wondering aloud whether the Yankees would finally reach the limit of their bargaining power if they were forced to entertain massive deals for both the right-hander this offseason and Soto next.
Yankees wouldn't be able to pay Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Juan Soto?
"The interesting part of the Yankees’ pursuit of Yamamoto is that signing him might diminish their appetite for retaining Soto, who is eligible for free agency at the end of the season. Owner Hal Steinbrenner repeatedly has shown there are limits to his spending. "- Ken Rosenthal
Before you call it propaganda and beg for Steinbrenner's head on a platter, have you thought about ... how much money that is, and how much funneling $200 million into seven contracts limits your ability to field a competitive, deep roster?
Of course, the Yankees shouldn't let Soto's looming payday distract them from Yamamoto's market, but if Cohen's Mets zoom to the front of the pack -- as has been rumored recently -- there will be a significant silver lining in the Yankees' corner of the world. If the rumors are true and Yamamoto really is a Dodgers fan (wasn't he wearing a Yankee cap on Instagram, though?), the Yankees could redouble their efforts on Soto and reload for 2025's free agent class.
The real issue, though, is New York missing both. That cannot happen.