MLB Network stat-focused host has unjustifiable take on Yankees' Juan Soto extension

Feels like a deeply unpopular opinion?
Oakland Athletics v New York Yankees
Oakland Athletics v New York Yankees / Mike Stobe/GettyImages

The New York Yankees have begun the 2024 season either atop or near the pinnacle of the AL East (depending on the night) with little-to-no contributions from Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres and Anthony Rizzo offensively, and a leaky and limited bullpen that can't induce a swing-and-miss stuff to save their starters.

Most would mark that record off as a win, and it's largely thanks to Juan Soto. The team's big offseason import is a .500+ hitter with runners in scoring position. His approach has rubbed off on struggling youngsters like Oswaldo Cabrera, who's helped pacify worries with an unprecedented offensive burst. He electrified the Bronx on Friday night, and seems poised to do so all summer long.

It would be nice if the Yankees didn't play so many late-and-close games, but Soto's a pretty nice weapon to have if you're forced into tight spaces.

As Brian Cashman noted this week, to the dismay of many Yankee fans (and despisers) who can't accept reality, Soto's long-term future will remain clouded all year, though, even as the Yankees plan to do all they can to convince him to settle down when the season ends. Cashman noted that the overnight difference he's made in the team's approach was reminiscent of Wade Boggs' arrival in 1993. Famously, Boggs stayed longer than 1993. The Yankees have telegraphed their intentions (while acknowledging Soto's right to free agency) every step of the way. It seems the only debate is whether the Yankees will be able to outbid the Mets and other competitors for Soto's services, not whether they should.

Unless you ask MLB Network's Brian Kenny, who "doesn't think he could do" a $500+ million Soto extension. Huh.

Sorry, the Yankees should *pass* on a Juan Soto extension?

Guess a hitter's only "the next Ted Williams" and a "generational" talent when he's not yet on the Yankees. Then, when the Bombers get their hands on him, he's a defensive liability who'll age poorly by 35. Time to toss this take into The Shredder.

If the Yankees show Soto the door, who are they replacing him with in the aggregate? Rolling the dice and hoping both Spencer Jones and Jasson Dominguez hit? Hoping to sprinkle some fairy dust on a collection of 35-year-old has-beens like the 2013 Red Sox? Now that was a team. The Yankees should say no to Soto and an enthusiastic yes to Daniel Nava! Considering we've seen in recent weeks that the Yankees don't have quite enough offense to comfortably win baseball games with Soto, how can they possibly carry on without him after getting a preview of his effect? And in what world would they not even try to bring him back?

As Jomboy correctly mentions, the Yankees have $90+ million coming off the books this winter. Even if they didn't, they would still have enough gobs of revenue to justify an enormous expense in a changing sports landscape. Whatever Soto ultimately earns, he'll be underpaid. The Yankees can afford it -- and they cannot afford to look the other way and silently sit out his free agency, hoping for a million other tiny impossibilities to click into place instead.