Scott Boras puts Hal Steinbrenner's payroll comments into pro-Yankees context

New York Yankees v San Diego Padres
New York Yankees v San Diego Padres / Orlando Ramirez/GettyImages

It took a week of people cherrypicking Hal Steinbrenner's comments on payroll before an unlikely hero emerged to (hopefully) set all the New York Yankees haters straight. We can't believe we're saying this but ... Scott Boras to the rescue?

Once again, Juan Soto was asked about his impending free agency six months from now as the media and non-Yankees fans conveniently push aside New York's early-season dominance that sees them atop the American League.

Naturally, Soto offered the only response he's conditioned to relay to such a question. He told reporters that he'll be listening to any and all offers, and that he and Boras will not be closing the door on any potential suitor.

Coupled with Hal Steinbrenner's comments about the rise in payroll approaching levels that appear unsustainable — for reference, the highest payroll in 2011 was $211 million (Yankees) and in 2024 it's $305 million (Mets) — followed by Soto's comments on a potential departure from the Yankees, social media had its fun laughing about a short one-year relationship between the two parties.

Even if that were the case, the Yankees got their hands on one of the best players on the planet for next to nothing and put themselves in a position to win a World Series. That gets applauded when it's done by almost every other MLB team.

But in their quest to get Soto to sign long term, the Yankees will remain in the bidding until the very end, something Boras essentially clarified while making better sense of Steinbrenner's commentary.

Scott Boras puts Hal Steinbrenner's payroll comments into pro-Yankees context

“When you have generational talents, they’re not really a part of the budget. They are part of how you grow assets. They are a different breed. The only cost concern is the cost of the monument," Boras said over the weekend, via USA Today.

Steinbrenner wasn't talking about a $500 million contract for Juan Soto. He was talking about the need for every big market team to annually take the plunge for the most expensive players while repeatedly paying an ever-growing tax bill. For as frustrating the Yankees have been over the last 15 years, they certainly haven't neglected the best talent on a consistent basis. They might have chosen wrong, but they've always been some level of "involved" for the game's most notable stars.

We get it, though. Nobody wants Soto to become a Yankee Lifer and retire in pinstripes. It's understandably a nightmare for rival fans. But lying to yourself and creating convenient narratives that don't exist won't soften the blow when push comes to shove — it'll only make it worse.