The New York Yankees arguably registered a successful winter meetings session by making two high-end acquisitions. Firstly, the front office acquired outfielder Alex Verdugo from the Boston Red Sox. In the second and last blockbuster move, the Yanks pulled off a historical trade by acquiring Juan Soto from the San Diego Padres.
The 25-year-old generational star, with a world championship, three all-star selections, and four Silver Slugger awards in his bag, will don the pinstripes in 2024. However, the Yankees were hit hard with the asking price. Moreover, the recently concluded Rule 5 draft further jeopardized the Bronx Bombers’ highly acclaimed pitching depth.
Yankees Lose Key Prospect At Rule 5 Draft Deadline!
The New York Yankees find themselves facing a pitching conundrum as their depth takes a hit following the Rule 5 Draft. The Rule 5 Draft, an annual event where teams can select certain unprotected players from other organizations, has resulted in the Yanks losing a few promising arms. Oakland Athletics picked right-hander Mitch Spence, whereas Kansas City Royals bagged the prized arm Matt Sauer. Additionally, right-hander Coleman Crow was picked by the Texas Rangers. The loss of these young arms has dealt a blow to the team’s depth. Especially considering the uncertainty surrounding the durability of some key pitchers due to injuries. To make matters worse, the Yanks also lost pitchers in the trade deals pulled off during winter meetings.
In exchange for Alex Verdugo, the Yankees handed over Greg Weissert, Richard Fitts, and Nicholas Judice to the Boston Red Sox. Moreover, to accomplish blockbuster Juan Soto’s pursuit, the Bronx Bombers further sacrificed six arms. Michael King, Jhony Brito, Randy Vasquez, and top-tier Drew Thorpe landed in San Diego as a part of the historic deal. Needless to say, the pitching depth has become non-existent, to say the least. Now, with whatever time the Yanks have left on the off-season, they must prioritize landing pitchers. Yoshinobu Yamamoto seems to be the next big name waiting to land in the Bronx. Besides, the front office needs bullpen arms to bring much-needed balance to the roster. It would be interesting to see how Brian Cashman approaches this steep challenge.
Juan Soto’s Trade Soars Yanks’ 2024 Season Payroll!
Hal Steinbrenner’s idea of not having to build a $300 million payroll for winning a championship is set to go for a toss this off-season. Before landing Juan Soto, the team’s payroll stood at $256 million, per Cot’s Contracts. However, Soto coming in with a $30 million salary and Yoshinobu Yamamoto on a $300 million contract will turn the Steinbrenner family’s financial books upside down.
However, the Yankees have time and are against reiterated intentions of not surpassing the luxury tax threshold. “As always, money comes off the payroll; my family does everything we can to put it back in. And that’s not gonna be any different this year,” Steinbrenner said in November. However, the team’s off-season moves do not align with the original ideology.