Derek Jeter knows the New York Yankees, and he also knows how to be an MLB GM. On Tuesday night, he suggested the Yankees need to bring San Diego Padres outfielder Juan Soto to 161st in the Bronx. Brian Cashman and the Yankees organization should listen to Jeter.
Yankees legend Derek Jeter targets Juan Soto to come to New York from San Diego Padres
During the broadcast at the 2023 MLB All-Star Game, Jeter made this comment about Soto. “I do believe the Padres could get hot and make some waves in the NL West,” the Yankees Hall of Fame captain said. “But if they don’t … if they don’t have a good next couple of weeks, I wouldn’t mind seeing the Yankees go out and get Juan Soto.”
There is some help needed in the Bronx right now. Aaron Judge’s toe injury is proving to be quite severe. The Yankees are 49-42 overall and 30-19 with Judge in the lineup but just 19-23 without him.
The Bronx Bombers need to infuse some power and hits into the lineup. They are 29th in MLB in hits (690) and tied for the second-worst team batting average (.231). This abysmal performance led to the firing of hitting coach Dillon Lawson after Sunday’s 7-4 loss to the Chicago Cubs. The Yankees don’t fire coaches mid-season; it’s highly unusual.
Now with Sean Casey in place as the new hitting coach, they will look to trades to get back into the playoff race. The Yankees could go big for a young superstar like Soto, who has a .265/.419/.898 slash line, leads the league in walks (83).
Jeter also likes Soto’s versatility he could bring to the Yankees outfield. At just 25 years old and under a short contract, he could be the perfect solution for the Yankees needing some All-Star plate presence.
“(Put him) wherever you want,” Jeter said. “Put him in left or right.” He could easily fill in for Judge at right; he has played 301 games in right field (389 in left). However, all 89 of Soto’s defensive appearances during the 2023 regular season have come in left field, a position the Yankees have had issues with all season.
Soto still has one year of arbitration before entering free agency in 2025. The Yankees had already tried to pursue Soto last year before he was traded to the Padres and are favored by some to land the burgeoning superstar in free agency after next season.
As a leftie, Soto has the perfect swing for Yankee Stadium and their short right porch. Pairing Soto with fellow left-handed slugger Anthony Rizzo to go with a right-handed threat like Judge when he returns this year would be a problem for the entire league — possibly restoring the Yankees to World Series champions.
San Diego (43-47) comes out of the All-Star break in fourth place in the NL West, 8.5 games behind the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers (51-38) and Arizona Diamondbacks (52-39). The Padres are also six games back of the San Francisco Giants (49-41) for the third and final Wild Card spot. So even though the Padres acquired Soto just 11 months ago in a trade with the Washington Nationals, with the return of Fernando Tatis and the lack of success in the NL West, they could move him if they don’t put together an incredible run before the trade deadline. The San Diego payroll is far too exorbitant for a team that could miss the playoffs (despite being young and having so much potential). If they move him, Soto will yield the most significant savings and return the most prospects.