June 18, 2024

Juan Soto feels right at home with the Yankees, where he enjoys the intense fan support, embraces New York City’s lively culture, and benefits from batting beside Aaron Judge in a formidable lineup.

As he approaches his first free agent opportunity this autumn, Soto may have to decide whether to extend his tenure with the Yankees. However, negotiations for a long-term contract may begin sooner than expected, since Soto stated that he is willing to discuss such topics during the season if the Yankees want to hire his representative, Scott Boras.

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner voiced his wish to keep Soto on the team indefinitely, citing the 25-year-old’s exceptional skill. While Steinbrenner normally prefers not to negotiate contracts during the season to avoid distractions, he acknowledged that Soto’s situation may necessitate an exception.

Soto’s on-field performance has been remarkable, with a batting average of.302, nine home runs, 34 RBIs, and an OPS of.920 in 45 games. After being moved from San Diego to New York in December, he signed a one-year contract worth $31 million to avoid salary arbitration.

 

Juan Soto Gushes About Yankees Teammate Aaron Judge After Spring Training  Debut | Sports-illustrated | panolawatchman.com

 

When asked about Steinbrenner’s comments during the Yankees’ sweep of the Minnesota Twins, Soto stated his willingness to negotiate a new contract before the autumn, emphasizing his commitment to playing well and contributing to the team’s success.

Soto turned down a huge 15-year, $440 million contract from the Washington Nationals in 2022, believing he could negotiate a better deal as a free agency following the 2024 season. The Nationals later traded him to the Padres.

Steinbrenner stated in an interview with YES that he wants Soto to feel at ease before entering into contract negotiations with his representatives, underlining the significance of focusing on the current season and aiming for a title.

Soto praised Steinbrenner’s strategy and expressed pleasure for having Judge, the 2022 American League MVP, bat behind him.

The Yankees dominated their last series against the Twins, winning 14-1 and outhitting them 35-14. Judge outperformed expectations, greatly increasing his on-base-plus-slugging %. Soto, on the other hand, struggled during the series, with fewer hits and more strikeouts.

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