Yankees Land Soto, Grisham

It started last year as a whisper, got louder at the trade deadline, and became a rallying cry by the season’s final pitch—get Juan Soto. Moments ago, Brian Cashman and company did just that. As many suspected, Soto will be a one-year rental before heading into free agency at the end of next season. What does this mean for the Yankees? With yesterday’s addition of former Boston Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo, the Bombers’ outfield has a mostly new look. In addition, General Manager Brian Cashman has made good on his goal of finding two lefty bats that can play in the outfield. As it stands, the Yankees will enter spring training in a much-improved position relative to last year. And with Japanese Ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto still on the market, the 2024 season could be what the Yankee faithful have been waiting for.

By The Numbers

As his stats clearly show, Juan Soto is an on-base machine. He brings to the Bronx a career slash line of .284/.421/.524 and is fresh off a season in which he led the majors in walks for the third time in six years. Soto is a former Rookie of the Year runner-up, three-time All-Star, and four-time Silver Slugger. He was also an integral piece of the Nationals lineup in their 2019 World Series run.

To The Padres

Soto did not come cheaply, but that was always the expectation. San Diego addressed needs of their own as they added veteran pitcher Michael King along with pitching prospects Drew Thorpe, Jhony Brito, Randy Vasquez, and long-time Yankees catcher Kyle Higashioka.

Bottom Line

While the Yankees had to part with some familiar veterans and promising prospects, Juan Soto’s presence makes the top of the batting order a real problem for opposing pitchers. Soto’s defense isn’t of the same caliber as his offense, but he’s certainly no slouch in left field. He has good reaction time and a decent arm, but he makes smart throwing decisions. Soto isn’t exactly a menace on the base paths either, but he does exactly what the Yankees struggled to do last year: he gets on base.

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