HomeMLB RumorsYankees Notes: Soto, Judge, Yamamoto, Bullpen

Yankees Notes: Soto, Judge, Yamamoto, Bullpen

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On the heels of last night’s blockbuster, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman met with reporters this afternoon. He discussed a handful of topics on where the front office will proceed.

Cashman acknowledged the team has yet to have any conversations with Juan Soto’s camp regarding a long-term extension (relayed by Chris Kirschner of the Athletic). The three-time All-Star is one year from free agency, projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz for a $33MM salary. It seems all but a lock that Soto will choose to test free agency. He declined a $440MM offer from the Nationals during the summer of 2022 and certainly wouldn’t sign for less than that now that he’s within a year of the open market.

The GM conceded “it’s a possible short term situation” with Soto. That didn’t deter the Yankees from making their all-in push to install him into the 2024 lineup alongside Aaron Judge. Between Soto, Alex Verdugo and Trent Grisham, they’ve added a trio of outfielders to better balance a lineup that struggled mightily when Judge was on the injured list. The 2022 AL MVP was out between June 4 and July 28 after injuring his right big toe in a collision with the outfield wall at Dodger Stadium.

Judge played regularly from the time of his reinstatement through season’s end. While there wasn’t much doubt about his health status, Cashman confirmed today that the toe problem is fully behind him (via Bryan Hoch of MLB.com).

The Soto return was pitching heavy. Michael King headlined a group that also included Jhony BritoRandy Vásquez and Double-A prospect Drew Thorpe. After parting with so much of their rotation depth to push that trade over the finish line, Cashman said the team will look to backfill on the pitching staff (passed along by The Athletic’s Brendan Kuty).

There’s no bigger pitching target than Yoshinobu Yamamoto. The NPB ace is scheduled to meet with MLB teams next week. The Yankees are among a handful of teams that are serious suitors for the 25-year-old righty. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com tweets that Yamamoto is the club’s priority at this point.

It seems the rotation is taking a bigger precedence than the bullpen. The Athletic reported last night that the Yankees were showing interest in free agent reliever Jordan Hicks. Feinsand downplays the club’s desire for a notable bullpen strike, however. While he confirms the Yankees like Hicks, he indicates a notable relief acquisition is more of a fallback possibility if Yamamoto signs elsewhere.


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