HomeTrending MLB NewsYankees Hope Soto Doesn’t “Walk Away” After 2024.

Yankees Hope Soto Doesn’t “Walk Away” After 2024.

On Opening Day, New York Yankees Outfielder Juan Soto gave his team a taste of what’s to come this season. In typical Soto fashion, he went 1-for-3, walked twice, and threw out Maurcio Dubón at the plate after a Kyle Tucker single to keep the Yankees’ lead and get the win. 

“I worked all Spring Training long on my arm and the throws from right field,” Soto told reporters after the game. “It’s just a great feeling. It just tells you I’m going in the right way with what I’ve been doing, and I’m more than excited to keep doing it.”

The Yankees haven’t won or been in a World Series since 2009. For some organizations, 15 years is just how the cookie crumbles. But these are the Yankees. Granted, with the introduction of luxury tax penalties and a more money-conscious Steinbrenner at the helm, the team can’t outspend the league to a ring. But they must pay this offseason if they want Soto to stay in the Bronx. 

Soto agreed to a 1-year, $31 million deal this offseason, a record for an arbitration-eligible player. Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge are making $32 million and $40 million respectively. Pitcher Gerrit Cole will be paid $36 million this year. Carlos Rodon will receive $27.83 million. Most of the roster will become free agents post-2024. Second Baseball and Shortstop Gleyber Torres hits free agency for the first time. So is pitcher Nestor Cortes. 

Stanton’s in his mid-30s and produced his worst offensive season across the board in 2023 with an astounding 29.9 percent strikeout rate. Quiet as kept Judge is also approaching his mid-30s, but he produced at a clip of .267/.406/.613 with 37 home runs and a 175 OPS last season. But he must deal with the nagging aftermath of a torn ligament in his right toe.

Soto is one of the rare players in today’s MLB that walks more than strikes out. Soto is averaged .284/.421/.524 slash line with 33 home runs, 133 walks, and 120 K’s per season in his career. He’s only in his age 25 season and is already considered one of the greats of his era. It would be malpractice for Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman to let him go.

The Yankees walk into Minute Maid Park this weekend with high hopes, many of which rest on the soon-to-be free agent. The franchise hasn’t had a player of this caliber in a long time. It makes sense for Soto to test the market at the end of the season, but Cashman should blow him out of the water with an offer that would make him the highest-paid player in MLB history, Shohei Ohtani set the precedent. Soto is about to exceed that. If the Yankees want to keep him, they’ll likely have to let a piece or two go to keep the payroll below a certain amount. 

But when it comes to Soto, it’ll be worth it.

Stephon Johnson
Stephon Johnson
Stephon Johnson is a journalist, reporter, and writer who's covered sports, politics, education, and labor issues. He’s written for The Athletic, The Sports Fan Journal, The Hardball Times, The Classical, The Cauldron/Sports Illustrated, Baeble Music, Polygon, City & State New York, the New York Amsterdam News, and THE CITY.


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