Sep 26, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; San Diego Padres left fielder Juan Soto (22) points to hit team mates after hitting a home run during the seventh inning against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Yankees Trade For Padres’ OF Juan Soto, The Biggest Trade Acquisition Since Alex Rodriguez

After weeks of reports, and the past several days of “nearing” and “finalizing” tweets, the Yankees finally, officially, got Juan Soto from the San Diego Padres. This is the biggest trade acquisition since Alex Rodriguez 20 years ago, and yes, I am including Giancarlo Stanton in that.

Here’s the summary, the Yankees gave up a back up catcher, two fringe MLB starters, a decent prospect, and a solid pitcher for a top five player in baseball. I see a lot of comments online that are hesitant on the trade because it is a “one year rental,” which tells me a lot. There is absolutely no way, no how, that Juan Soto is in a different uniform in 2025, I’d bet my life.

Let’s go through a little history lesson. Before the 2004 season, the Yankees traded for Texas Rangers superstar Alex Rodriguez, at that point already a 10-year vet with an MVP and considered a top five player in baseball, maybe even the best. They inherited his historic 10-year, $252 million contract from Texas that he signed in 2000. After 2007, he opted out of his contract and signed another historic 10-year, $275 million contract. Arod signed that at 31, coming off two more MVPs in 2005 and 2007. However, to that point, Arod had not won a World Series.

Juan Soto is 25 years old. He has already been the best player on a championship team (he was 20 years old when he helped the Nationals win the World Series), he has played over 150 games in all but one season (his rookie year, when he was 19), he has a career slash of .284/.421/.524. He hits for power, he hits for average, he gets on base. There is legitimately nothing this guy can’t do on a baseball field. 

My point being this: if there was ever a time for Hal Steinbrenner to get like Dad, it’s now. I wouldn’t waste another second, thought, or breath to make Juan Soto a Yankee for life.

It doesn’t matter what the books will look like for the next few years, if you have a chance to make a top five player in the entire league a Yankee for life, you do it. This is a guy who changes the entire fabric of your team. Aaron Judge has never had someone like him as a teammate. Soto wants to be here, he thrives in spotlight, he thrives in big moments, he is made for New York. 

Even with Aaron Judge, who I love deeply, there were some questions and hesitancy to giving him a massive contract, mainly his age and injury history. Soto has none of those negatives. They could easily give him $50 million a year for the next 10, 11, 12, 13 years and I wouldn’t bat an eye, that’s a good contract.

Here is my other point, if Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner don’t sign Soto long term, logistically speaking it isn’t the end of the world because you didn’t give up franchise altering pieces to get him, but in the public eye, to fans, they’re dead. They’re actually deader than dead, if that’s possible. As the biggest brand, with the biggest payroll, there is absolutely an expectation that Soto signs a long-term deal. Anything else should be considered a failure.

This may sound like typical spoiled Yankees fan slob, but the Yankees do not trade for superstar rentals. They trade for superstars to keep them in Pinstripes.

Now, I don’t know if he will get a contract before the season, maybe at worst he dips his toes in free agency, but there is absolutely an expectation that he signs a long-term deal with New York.

I am so excited for this season. Soto and Judge back-to-back in a lineup, what a dream.

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