June 18, 2024

During a recent conversation with Bob Nightengale of USA Today, agent Scott Boras essentially scoffed at New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner’s statement last week that the club’s payroll is “not sustainable” in terms of potentially signing All-Star outfielder Juan Soto to a long-term deal.

Boras intimated to reporters on Tuesday that Soto’s camp will not provide the Yankees any form of discount during prospective in-season negotiations.

“When you represent players who I call ‘centurions’ where you can say that they will be among the top 100 players to ever play this game, when you represent them you don’t worry about the cost of them for a franchise because they increase the franchise value of the team,” Boras said about Soto, per Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. “The only cost is what it costs to build the monument.”

Soto remains on course to become a free agent at the end of the season, and the value of his next contract appears to increase with each passing week.

As of Wednesday morning, DraftKings Sportsbook had Soto as the betting favorite with +225 odds to win the American League Most Valuable Player Award. The 37-19 Yankees were ranked second among betting favorites to win the World Series, with +550 odds.

Soto may receive a historic offer from big-spending New York Mets owner Steve Cohen this fall, and the 25-year-old stated ahead of the weekend that he is “open to dealing with anybody.”

 

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Earlier this week, Yankees play-by-play announcer Michael Kay emphasized that Steinbrenner is “not bluffing when he says $300M is an unsustainable payroll.”

Boras was quick to point out on Tuesday that “Juan is comfortable in a lot of places” and may thrive in his 30s outside of the Yankees.

“I understand that any owner should be responsible and any owner should do good business, but when you have a chance to pursue a centurion, you’re only going to have that happen maybe, at best, if you own the team 40, 50 years, three or four times,” Boras added.

Boras further asserted that “a centurion on a team would thereby make the team worth billions more.”

In short, if Steinbrenner wants Soto to be more than a one-season rental for the Yankees, he’ll need to win a bidding war.

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