If we're going to write about the stuff that gets us infuriated about the Juan Soto trade talks, then we have to relay the positive developments, right? The yin and yang of life. So much is negative in the New York Yankees' discourse, so let's turn that ship around.
Though recent developments have suggested the Yankees' chances of trading for Juan Soto are dwindling, the offseason is still young, and much of the reporting can be filtered out as smoke from teams/agents. Everything is speculative.
All that matters is the Yankees' involvement and confidence level. We cannot accurately gauge either of those, but any report that reinforces the Yankees' aggression breathes life into the skeptical fanbase that feels like it's been duped the last few years.
Yes, the Yankees spend. But they've failed to spend properly and have had some bad luck thrown into the mix. Trades? Forget it. They can't make a big one. And they won't overspend to correct their issues. Then again, we might be reaching a breaking point.
Per reports, the Yankees' offseason focus is on Soto and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, and they have "relatively high hopes for both," per Jon Heyman of the New York Post.
Yankees Rumors: Juan Soto, Yoshinobu Yamamoto update could flip offseason on its head
Here's more from Heyman's column:
"The Yankees believe the field for Soto – a one-year rental player who’ll make about $32 million in arbitration – is small for obvious reasons. Few teams want to surrender big-time young players for rentals.- Jon Heyman, NY Post
They also believe they have a legit shot at Yamamoto, who has the deepest group of serious suitors for any player in the $200M category."
Heyman added the Yankees would be willing to talk about moving top prospect Drew Thorpe, who The Athletic reported was a player New York might be hesitant to move. Heyman notes they prefer to keep Thorpe and Michael King, but are willing to move Clarke Schmidt and others. If they're undeterred by the Padres' asking price knowing they have the upper hand because of the limited market and San Diego's financial problems, then that's exactly where they need to be.
As for Yamamoto, his market is far more expansive, but the Yankees are confident in their chances, even though Brian Cashman got into a public spat with the pitcher's agent because of his Giancarlo Stanton comments.
The Mets aren't a suitor to overlook, but the Yankees are in a far better position and can deliver the final haymaker with a Soto acquisition. Yamamoto could very well be swayed by the Yankees having a better current situation and future outlook with other momentous moves to accompany the right-hander's arrival (he's also, uh, worn a Yankee hat from time to time).
Yamamoto's projected contract is already believed to exceed $200 million, with some estimating $250 million. Realistically, how much more could Steve Cohen offer with so many other roster questions?
Throw in that extra prospect to Soto. Offer a few more million for Yamamoto. Let's get on with 2024.