NEW YORK — Juan Soto is a New York Yankee.
Yes, you read that right. The 25-year-old Dominican superstar Juan Soto, a generational talent, who is arguably the best left-handed slugger in the game, was acquired by the Yankees on late Wednesday night in a blockbuster trade with the San Diego Padres involving a grand total of seven players. The Bronx Bombers are back, and back in full force…
Yankees receive OF Juan Soto and OF Trent Grisham
Padres receive RHP Michael King, RHP Randy Vásquez, RHP Jhony Brito, RHP Drew Thorpe (No. 99 ranked prospect in MLB Top 100 List), and C Kyle Higashioka
Now, the instant reaction out of New York is that the Yankees got themselves a once-in-a-lifetime star to pair along with their captain Aaron Judge. Soto became a World Series champion at the age of 20 with the Washington Nationals, and achieved four Silver Slugger awards since, as well as the prestigious National League LatinoMVP award in 2021. Below are his career statistics:
Six Seasons (2018-2023) – 779 games – 565 with Washington, and 214 with San Diego
.284 batting average/.421 on base percentage/.524 slugging percentage
160 home runs, 483 RBI, 768 hits, 640 walks
Won National League Batting Title in 2020
Home Run Derby champion in 2022
“He’s a generational talent,” Judge told FOX5NY on Thursday morning regarding the Soto news. “His track record and his stats speak for themselves. Everybody in the Yankees Universe is pretty excited to have him on board.”
“He would have 40+ home runs in 2024 hitting in that ballpark,” a longtime baseball scout said about the Soto-Yankees trade rumors prior to the deal getting done. “He would become a fan favorite for sure. Him and Judge in the outfield and in the same lineup would be amazing.”
Soto’s Numbers at Yankee Stadium
In seven career games played in the Bronx, Soto has compiled four home runs and nine RBI (6-28 with five walks) — .261 batting average/.393 on base percentage/.826 slugging percentage. Not to mention, his ferocious swing is built for the Yankee Stadium short porch in right field.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) May 27, 2023
Another caveat is that Soto is entering his final year under arbitration, which would make him an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season. The three-time All Star will be the most sought out target available and is projected to make more than $450 million on a long term deal with mega-agent Scott Boras leading his camp. Obviously, the Yankees will attempt to sign him prior to that time, but will Boras and Co. allow their client to miss out on the authentic free agency frenzy, and potential bidding war?
Dominican Power in NYC 🇩🇴
Soto ending up in pinstripes, in the most populated Dominican city across the United States of America, is a move that will only benefit baseball, and for all of those in the Latino community. As we have witnessed in the past, there is no better city, or more exciting place to be than in New York when baseball is thriving, and with Soto here, expect the wave of energy in the Bronx for 2024 to be on a whole nother level.
Yankees projected lineup for 2024 Opening Day
3B DJ LeMahieu
RF Juan Soto
CF Aaron Judge
1B Anthony Rizzo
2B Gleyber Torres
DH Giancarlo Stanton
LF Alex Verdugo*
SS Anthony Volpe
C Austin Wells/Jose Trevino
Prior to the Soto blockbuster trade, Alex Verdugo was acquired by the Yankees earlier this week in a rare deal with their AL East division rival Boston Red Sox for RHP Richard Fitts, RHP Greg Weissert and RHP Nicholas Judice. Across seven seasons in MLB, (three with the LA Dodgers, and four with Boston), the left-handed swinging Verdugo posted a .281 batting average to go along with a .337 on base percentage.
Fun Fact: Verdugo, 27, who turns 28 next May, played for Team Mexico in the 2017 and 2023 World Baseball Classic. The Tucson, Arizona native, is of Mexican heritage through his father, who was born in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico.
Robert Rizzo is a journalist and editor of Latino Sports – Email: RobertRiz994@gmail.com
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