Juan Soto is finally a New York Yankee. Took long enough


The New York Yankees have made a big move in their quest to improve their outfield by acquiring Juan Soto from the San Diego Padres. According to a report by Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the deal was finalized on December 6th, although the teams have yet to officially announce the trade.

Soto, a 25-year-old lefty-swinging outfielder, began his professional career with the Washington Nationals in 2018 and played a pivotal role in their World Series championship in 2019. He has since established himself as one of the premier outfielders in the game, earning two All-MLB First Team nominations, four Silver Slugger awards, and the 2020 NL batting title.

In the 2023 season, Soto had one of his best years yet, hitting a career-high 35 home runs, stealing 12 bases, and driving in 109 runs. He is known for his impressive power, ability to hit for average, and solid defensive skills. With his addition, the Yankees’ outfield gets a significant boost in both offense and defense.

In exchange for Soto, the Padres are set to receive a package of players. According to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, the centerpieces of the deal are Michael King and Drew Thorpe, both pitching prospects in the Yankees’ organization. King has been with the Yankees since 2019, pitching as both a starter and reliever. In 2023, he posted a 2.75 ERA and recorded 127 strikeouts over 104.2 innings. Thorpe, on the other hand, is the Yankees’ second-ranked pitching prospect and fifth-ranked overall prospect. He was drafted in the second round of the 2022 MLB draft and has shown great potential in the minor leagues.

Joining King and Thorpe in the trade are Jhony Brito, Randy Vasquez, and backup catcher Kyle Higashioka. Brito made his debut in the 2023 season, appearing in 25 games and starting 13. He finished the year with a 4.28 ERA. Vasquez, another pitcher called up in 2023, started five of the 11 games he appeared in and pitched to a 2.87 ERA. Higashioka, who debuted for the Yankees in 2017, has served as the team’s second catcher and has shown some power with 10 home runs in each of the past three seasons.

The acquisition of Soto comes shortly after the Yankees made another trade with their rival, the Boston Red Sox, to acquire outfielder Alex Verdugo. If reports are to be believed, the Yankees plan to put Verdugo in left field, move Aaron Judge to center field, and play Soto in right field. This outfield configuration would provide the Yankees with a formidable defensive unit and a potent offensive lineup.

Soto is currently in his fourth year of arbitration and will become an unrestricted free agent in 2025 if the Yankees do not sign him to a contract extension. With his impressive track record and young age, it will be interesting to see if the Yankees prioritize locking him up long-term.

Overall, the addition of Juan Soto to the New York Yankees’ lineup is a significant move that strengthens their outfield and adds a dynamic offensive threat. With a powerful bat, solid defense, and youth on his side, Soto has the potential to make a major impact for the Yankees as they look to compete for a World Series title in the upcoming seasons.

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