The public crusade against Yankees eventually signing Juan Soto is pathetic

Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees
Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees / New York Yankees/GettyImages

Mets fans tried. They're still trying. But as long as they keep eating paste for the 2024 season, Juan Soto isn't heading to Queens unless Steve Cohen literally offers him $1 billion. Meanwhile, Soto's New York Yankees audition is going perfectly as it relates to a potential contract extension.

It's been reiterated that Soto will be hitting free agency — as every Yankees fan expected — but Hal Steinbrenner recently vocalized a desire to talk about an in-season extension. Soto didn't reject the overture with his comments, and neither did his agent Scott Boras.

But we all know what'll probably happen. Soto will hit free agency. He'll visit with a multitude of teams. A few big offers will leak. But much like Aaron Judge's situation after 2022, Soto will more than likely come to his senses and take ~$50 million less to remain in the Bronx with a bonafide World Series contender. Or at least that's how we've drawn it up.

Don't think it'll go that far? Fair. It's totally plausible Soto takes more money from another contender and calls it a day. But can we please stop acting like the Yankees won't get aggressive in the bidding? This chatter has not stopped and it's a tired act.

We weighed in on former MLB executive David Samson's take on how the Yankees "won't pay" for Soto as Boras' demands increase because they're trying to be smart about their payroll. We don't even know what that means. This is a smart payroll decision — giving money to a 26-year-old whose remaining career will net you the most prime years possible.

The latest comes from ESPN's Buster Olney — a noted Yankee hater — as he surveyed "agents" about Soto's next contract and how it might affect New York.

“I had an executive recently tell me that if Soto got $550 million, that wouldn’t surprise him. I’ve had two agents tell me they think that’ll be a stretch for Soto to get $500 million, especially from the Yankees. Because remember, just a couple years ago, the Yankees gave Aaron Judge — homegrown star, the biggest star in the organization and captain of the team — $360 million. That was a stretch for them. They were at $320 million. Then the Padres got involved and they increased their offer. So agents are saying the idea that the Yankees are going to pay Soto $140 million more, they’re kind of skeptical about that."

If anybody thinks Soto getting more money than Aaron Judge is going to stop the Yankees, then there's no saving that person. Judge's free agency was an entirely different case. He was entering his age-31 season with a lengthy injury history from 2018-2020. The timelines are completely different.

If we were to compare the two, Soto is hitting free agency the year after Judge earned his first All-Star nod. Do you understand that? Soto had six and a half years under his belt at the same age Judge finally made it to the Midsummer Classic. There's a considerable gap here that's only interpreted through time and consequence, and nothing more.

The business of the game ltierally forces teams to pay a premium if they're getting more prime years out of a player. Judge got paid barely over $40 million for what he did from 2016-2022. It just so happened he made his debut at 24 years old and didn't log his first full rookie season until 25.

Soto debuted at 19, earned MVP votes in his age-20-22 and -24 seasons, and won a World Series at 22. And he still probably has 10 premier years of baseball left in him. Not to mention, he's played in 831 of a possible 879 games (through Thursday's action) since making his MLB debut.

Judge got his money. He's content. Now he's hell-bent on helping the Yankees build the best roster possible, so he will not be standing in the way of the team signing Juan Soto to a $500 million contract — and Steinbrenner isn't going to come up embarrassingly short of being able to keep the perennial MVP candidate in the Bronx.

The Yankees might've fallen terribly short of expectations since 2010, but has everyone forgotten who they are?