Has the discourse shifted overnight or is this an intentional curveball to divert the New York Yankees' attention? When did anybody ever deem the potential asking price for superstar Juan Soto to be "too high"? Is there even such a thing unless the San Diego Padres are being wildly unreasonable?
The one pitfall in a possible Soto deal is the fact he probably won't sign an extension. His agent, Scott Boras, is famous for having his players test free agency, where the prices escalate as a result of bidding wars among the league's top contenders.
But even so, if the Yankees are trying to get right in 2024, they shouldn't worry about Soto's presence in New York beyond this coming season. It'd certainly be ideal to make sure he's in town for the rest of his career, but it's always been known that's far from a guarantee, meaning any involvement in trade talks leaves teams under the assumption Soto's to be had for a year, and only that.
MLB insider Jon Heyman famously has ties to Boras and without a doubt relays information from the agent whether it's designed to benefit his clients or not. This is how the baseball world works. No digs whatsoever. If you get information, you report it.
But is this particular bit of information an attempt to guide the Yankees toward Cody Bellinger, who happens to be a free agent and also a lefty slugging outfielder?
Yankees-Juan Soto trade rumors take nasty turn in what seems to be Boras chicanery
"Soto is a year away from free agency, and the chances to extend him in a window of 72 hours for anything the Yankees would deem reasonable are so slim that they might as well be considered none. The belief is Soto’s agent, Scott Boras, would be happy to listen to extension overtures, but probably only if the interested team saw the market their way.- Jon Heyman, NY Post
The question now is whether that’s $500 million? Or maybe it’s $600 million?
We know it’s not $440 million, because Boras and Soto didn’t even flinch when Soto’s original Washington Nationals team put that then-record offer on the table a couple years back. So for reality’s sake, consider Soto a one-year rental.
The question then is whether you want to give up a combination of promising young players for a rent-a-hitter with a likely $32 million price tag via arbitration. One rival GM guessed that Soto would cost an interested team two top-100 prospects (or comparable young players). So for the Yankees, that could mean some combination of Anthony Volpe, Jasson Dominguez, outfielder Spencer Jones and right-hander Drew Thorpe."
Let's have a few laughs here. Soto is not getting paid more than Shohei Ohtani, so to suggest his number could hit $600 million is downright comedic. It even feels like a stretch to mention $500 million. In hindsight, it's very much plausible to suggest Soto and Boras rejecting that $440 million extension from the Nationals was a mistake.
And how about those rumored names mentioned as part of a potential return package? Anthony Volpe? Jasson Dominguez? Spencer Jones? For one year of Soto plus his ~$30 million salary? A combination of those guys? You probably wouldn't have to give up a single one of those names unless Soto agreed to an extension as a stipulation for the trade.
Soto is without a doubt a unique soon-to-be free agent. He'll be entering his age-26 season in 2025. He's already got a World Series ring and is regarded as one of the best all-around hitters in the game. But no player on an expiring deal warrants such an aggressive trade package that mortgages a team's future. And no free agent, perhaps in this lifetime, is going to command more money than Ohtani, a two-way star who is just as good a hitter as Soto and can pitch like Gerrit Cole.
Props to Boras for giving this the old college try, but we're not sure who's ill-informed enough to fall for this.