Juan Soto & Aaron Judge To Join Forces In New York After Trade
The New York Yankees finalized a trade with the San Diego Padres to acquire star outfielder Juan Soto and Trent Grisham. New York gave up five players in the deal, including two promising prospects.
While the long-term impact of the deal will not be known for some time, the immediate effect is clear. Many Yankees fans who have been clamoring for Soto for years will now see the 25-year-old don pinstripes alongside 2022 MVP Aaron Judge. The blockbuster deal had a massive impact on betting lines, as New York is now the third choice to win the 2024 World Series.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone praised Soto before the trade went through, identifying him as an exceptionally precocious player.
“He’s as good an offensive player as there is,” Boone told reporters. “He is a machine offensively — on base, power, and has accomplished a ton already at a young age.”
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Since joining the league in 2018, five months before his 20th birthday, Soto has been named an All-Star three times and won a World Series with the Nationals in 2019. The Padres acquired Soto in a massive trade with the Washington Nationals in 2022 and advanced to the NLCS that same year. The team struggled in 2023, however, and missed the playoffs.
Though Soto is on the Yankees and excitement is building for now, it will not be long before his status comes into question again. With just a year remaining on his contract, New York can either utilize him as a short-term rental in an attempt to win a championship or extend him in a lucrative deal. Otherwise, Soto will enter free agency for the first time in his MLB career in 2024.
The Yankees do not often turn to short-term acquisitions and have proven comfortable spending to keep players for extended periods. Just last offseason, New York resigned Judge to a nine-year, $360 million contract. The team has previously spared no expense to recruit stars like Gerrit Cole and Giancarlo Stanton.
Soto, obviously, has the final say, but if the price is right next year, MLB’s perennial rising star may be in the Bronx for good.
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