After long back-and-forth trade discussions between the San Diego Padres and New York Yankees, the Yankees have finally procured their man. Juan Soto is a New York Yankee, and he is the type of player the Yankees have desperately needed for almost a decade. Since Robinson Cano left the Yankees following the 2013 season, the Bronx Bombers have failed to acquire an elite left-handed bat. Now the Yankees have finally traded for Juan Soto, who should be significantly better than Cano during his time in pinstripes. Michael Kay, the voice of the Yankees, has gone as far as to compare Soto to Hall of Famer and baseball great Ted Williams. The Yankees did trade away Drew Thorpe and Michael King, along with Kyle Higashioka, Jhony Brito, and Randy Vasquez. While the team did lose a lot of organizational depth, they became an instantly better team with Juan Soto.
Juan Soto trade agreement is being finalized now, source confirms.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 6, 2023
Yankees Trade for Juan Soto
The trade immediately makes the Yankees meaningfully better by being able to provide protection in the lineup for Aaron Judge and offer damage from the left side of the plate. The lefty-righty combination now with the acquisitions of both Soto and Alex Verdugo will keep pitchers and managers on their toes. Opposing teams can no longer rely on striking out a righty-heavy lineup as the Yankees accomplished their offseason goals of both acquiring left-handed outfield bats and having players join who will bring down the average age on the roster. The Yankees accomplished both following the recent trades. New York, also acquired Trent Grisham who could be a serviceable outfielder as well, since he has already had success at the major league level.
What the Fans Can Expect from Juan Soto
Every Yankee fan should be optimistic about Soto’s acquisition, as the team has become significantly better offensively. Not only did they add arguably the best left-handed batter in the game, but a hitter who’s proven to be clutch and does not strike out, which are qualities the Yankees have been lacking significantly over the past several seasons.
There’s always the possibility that Soto could struggle in the early weeks as he did while adjusting to San Diego. But with time, he should progress into the player fans have become accustomed to seeing since his rookie season in 2018. Just how good is Juan Soto? Currently, Soto has a career OPS of .930, a batting average of .284, and has led MLB in walks for three of his six major league seasons. Soto is an on-base machine and has over 60 fewer strikeouts than walks in his career. Very few players in the majors today have fewer strikeouts than walks, which further proves how much of an anomaly Juan Soto truly is.
Yes, the Yankees had to surrender their top pitching prospect Drew Thorpe, and they trusted reliever Michael King, but the Yankees have become significantly better with Soto on board. Losing some guys in blockbuster trades always hurts, but when you get a player with Soto’s great track record of performance and health, the odds are in New York’s favor in the short term.