NEW YORK — Juan Soto is officially a Yankee.
The Bronx Bombers pulled off a blockbuster trade for the 25-year-old superstar and Trent Grisham late Wednesday night. Doing so took a ton of pitching, as the Yankees sent right-handers Michael King, Drew Thorpe, Jhony Brito and Randy Vásquez, along with catcher Kyle Higashioka, to the Padres.
The Yankees paid a large price for Soto, a one-year rental, but this is a player who can change the dynamic of an offense that was historically bad last season.
“He’s as good of an offensive player as there is. He’s a machine offensively,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said before the trade. “Has accomplished a ton already at a young age. Durable, has been a central figure on a world championship team. Comes with a lot of fanfare and has been one of the rock-solid performers in our sport on the offensive side of the ball year in and year out.”
Soto’s arrival also shifts the narrative for a team that missed the playoffs in 2023 while its leadership came under fire.
Facing immense public pressure, Brian Cashman acted like the commander of a “fully operational Death Star” by acquiring Soto. “The Evil Empire is back,” fans, disillusioned by previous half-measures, declared on social media.
But all indications suggest that the Yankees won’t stop with Soto, who is projected to make $33 million this winter in his final year of arbitration.
So, what’s next for New York? Start with the man from Japan.
Cashman spoke rather openly about Yamamoto during his media availability at the Winter Meetings, which isn’t exactly the norm for the Yankees general manager when discussing players not employed by his team.
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