Yankees better positioned to re-sign Juan Soto than you think

Rumors abound regarding Juan Soto's looming free agency, and the Yankees are better prepared to strike than you think

Mar 3, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA;  New York Yankees left fielder Juan Soto (22) singles against the
Mar 3, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Juan Soto (22) singles against the / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Since the day he was acquired by the Yankees in December of 2023, Juan Soto's future with the Bombers has been uncertain. The 25-year-old and his agent Scott Boras have made it clear the young superstar will reach free agency in 2025, where all 30 teams will have their chance to bid for his potentially Hall of Fame future.

There is doubt around the baseball world that the Yankees will be able to re-sign Soto to a long-term pact, but Brian Cashman and his front office look more than prepared to strike a deal.

Juan Soto: Show Me the Money

There is much debate about how much money Soto will rake in next winter, but there is no debate it will be historic. Back in 2022, the then 23-year-old rejected an astronomical 15-year, $440 million offer from the Washington Nationals - and it was probably the right call. Now, at just 25 years old, Soto still has the potential to get 12+ years and an average annual value commensurate with the likes of fellow sluggers Aaron Judge and Mike Trout ($40 and $36 million, respectively).

No matter how much he signs for next winter, the Yanks are in fantastic financial position to re-sign their new star. Just how fantastic? A smattering of expiring contracts and lack of deferred payments find the Yankees dropping nearly $90 million dollars next offseason, plenty of room for their young superstar. Given the recent trend in large contracts, like with Shohei Ohtani and Max Scherzer, it wouldn't be surprising to see Soto's deal come with some deferred money, making it even easier for the Yanks to retain Soto and remain competitive in the free agent market long-term.

Yankees Log Jam

While keeping Juan Soto long-term is obviously fantastic, it would create a serious log jam in the Yankees outfield in the near future.


Last Year of Team Control

Aaron Judge


Giancarlo Stanton


Jasson Dominguez


Spencer Jones


Alex Verdugo


Trent Grisham


While not playing many innings in the field in recent seasons, Giancarlo Stanton is still technically an outfielder. His recent weight loss and focus on mobility has even translated to time in right field already this spring training, so it's safe to say the fielding option is back on the table. Aaron Judge is another big-bodied right-hander for the Yankees, and for the next eight seasons, his spot in the outfield is about as locked down as they come.

With Alex Verdugo and Trent Grisham the odd men out of the outfield mix, the biggest competition for playing time is between Jasson Dominguez and Spencer Jones. Dominguez is currently the franchise's number one prospect and his debut was long anticipated; he delivered last September with a home run into Houston's Crawford Boxes off Justin Verlander. Right behind him is the Yankees' number two prospect Spencer Jones. A Vanderbilt alumnus, Jones has made waves in the minor leagues for his stellar power and speed, swiping 43 bags last season and more recently launching a 470 foot blast in spring training.

Jones isn't expected at the Major League level until late this season or 2025, but re-signing Soto long term would force the Yankees to trade or reorganize their roster. Giancarlo Stanton would be the most difficult piece to find a trade for, and the front office has made it very clear they won't trade Jones, even refusing to deal him this offseason for Corbin Burnes.

If the Yanks don't re-sign Anthony Rizzo, it's possible they shift Judge to first base, where he's been seeing some reps in spring training for a few years, at the risk of blocking Ben Rice and pigeonholing Austin Wells to the backstop. If the Yankees hope to re-sign Soto and keep all of their pieces, Brian Cashman is going to have to get creative.

Because You're the Yankees

This is the Evil Empire. This is what the Yankees do just because they can. Opening the checkbook to get the best players in pinstripes has defined Yankees baseball throughout their storied history. Juan Soto will continue to be a New York Yankee for the same reason they re-signed Aaron Judge, paid Gerrit Cole, and locked up Alex Rodriguez - because this is what the Yankees do.

Letting Juan Soto go would be a bad look for the Yankees. Not only would losing his bat hurt the lineup in a big way, but losing Soto to another big market team would hurt the franchise's reputation. If Juan Soto were to leave the Yanks for their cross-town competitor in Queens or the ever dangerous LA Dodgers, it would be embarrassing for the organization.

This all goes without mentioning the price the Yankees paid just to acquire Soto, giving up four promising young pitchers and a backup catcher for just the one year of control. If Cashman and the Yankees are willing to pay that much for just one season, it's easy to imagine they'd be willing to pay handsomely for his future seasons as well.

All told, it would cost the Yankees more to let Juan Soto slip away than it would be to make him a Yankee for the rest of his career - a career that likely ends immortalized in Cooperstown, and with No. 22 enshrined in monument park.