Yankees

Akshita Patel

EXPLAINED: How Shohei Ohtani’s Record Signing May Have Ruined Yankees’ Chances Of Extending Juan Soto In 2024!

Ahead of the crucial 2024 MLB season, the New York Yankees traded 25-year-old generational outfielder Juan Soto from the San Diego Padres in a blockbuster seven-player swap. After an appalling season that plummeted the Yanks’ offensive numbers, an offensive upgrade was always on the cards.

However, with Juan Soto, the Yankees have neutralized two targets with a single bullet. Not only will Soto strengthen the hitting lineup, but also solve the outfield woes for at least the 2024 season. We say at least because Soto is on a one-year rental agreement with no certainty over an extension by the end of the upcoming season. Moreover, Shohei Ohtani’s record signing has further added a layer of uncertainty to the volatile free agency market.

   

Shohei Ohtani’s $700 Million Signing Will Lead To Surge In Juan Soto’s Market Value!

Yankees
Juan Soto, Aaron Boone

Japanese two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani signed a groundbreaking 10-year $700 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier this month. As the most sought-after free agent, Ohtani shattered all projections to secure the most expensive contract in MLB. While 97% of the agreed salary was deferred to the end of the contract, Ohtani’s record-breaking signing will have negative implications for the Yankees’ extension plans for Juan Soto. Days before the two-way sensation landed with the Dodgers, the Bronx Bombers acquired Soto from the Padres on a year-rental agreement. While uncertainty over the possibility of an extension contract looms, Ohtani’s $700 million signing will work as a blessing in disguise for Soto.

As a Scott Boras client, Juan Soto seems more likely to enter free agency by the end of the 2024 season. Hal Steinbrenner would surely love to take an active part in the bidding process. However, Soto’s market value won’t be the same as it was before Shohei Ohtani’s signing. Soto earlier rejected a $400 million extension with Nationals. Moreover, if Ohtani, as a designated hitter with no certainty over pitching future, can bag a $700 million contract, Soto certainly won’t settle for less. His market value, irrespective of the 2024 season results, will double up next off-season. Now, the Yankees need to think a thousand times before putting a $500 million offer on the table. While Steinbrenner has never shied away from spending big, $500 million is a huge commitment. Its negative implications on the team’s overall payroll need to be carefully studied before Hal takes a final call.

Juan Soto Shed Light On Future With Yankees!

Yankees
NY Post

Meanwhile, the free agency decision will largely depend on what the generational talent actually wants. Juan Soto, during his introductory press conference, said that Yankees know whom to call as far as extension talks are concerned. His job is to play baseball, and Scott Boras’s job is to handle negotiations on his behalf.

While Juan Soto refused to let out specific details, he has yet to make up his mind. So far, the generational outfielder is excited to don the pinstripes and see how it feels to play for a big city. His experience in the 2024 season will largely impact his free agency decision unless Boras succeeds in convincing Soto to explore the market regardless.