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Could Juan Soto be traded within the calendar year? MLB insider Jim Bowden think so, and he predicted the Yankees as the likely suitor.
Soto will constantly be named in trade rumors — though perhaps unrealistic ones — until he signs a long-term extension with the Washington Nationals. Until then, baseball fans in the D.C. metro area should get used to articles just like the content you’re about to read.
For now, the richest contract in baseball belongs to Mike Trout, who signed for a record $426.5 million back in 2019. Soto’s will break that if he stays healthy and keeps up his current pace. Soto is under contract through 2024, though two of those are arbitration years.
Could New York eventually trade for a player of Soto’s caliber? Sure, technically. Every player is available. But is that realistic? The Athletic’s Jim Bowden think so, at least enough to list it in his ‘bold predictions’ article released on Monday:
“The Nationals (will) increase their offer to superstar right fielder Juan Soto from $350 million to $390 million and he rejects it, preferring to get to free agency in three years. The Nationals then trade him to the Yankees on Dec. 29 for a package of seven prospects that includes their best prospect, Anthony Volpe.”
Juan Soto rumors: Could he be traded to Yankees?
The Yankees of old might’ve jumped at the thought of trading for a player like Soto. But these aren’t those same Yankees, which Bowden seems to forget here.
New York doesn’t want to dish out $500 million for a player, especially after (likely) extending Aaron Judge. That’ll strain Hal Steinbrenner’s wallet enough for his liking.
New York clearly values Volpe, as well. It was part of the reason they passed on Carlos Correa at a hefty price-tag, and have reportedly been unwilling to include him in most if not all trade packages.
Soto would be a wonderful addition for the Yankees. Dare I say, a very smart one. But these Yankees don’t spend like it’s 2009. And the Nationals don’t feel inclined to trade away their homegrown star, at least not this soon.
Arbitration sucks, but it’s far worse to give up on extension talks too soon on the future (and potentially current) face of baseball.