Juan Soto rumors: Mets links emerging before star takes 1st AB with Yankees

Juan Soto Mets Yankees
Juan Soto (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Is the baseball world trending toward 10-to-12 months of talking about Juan Soto signing with the Mets in free agency?

It seems that way, and this is before the 25-year-old star outfielder has taken his first regular-season at-bat with the Yankees. 

The Bronx Bombers pulled off one of the biggest blockbusters of the winter by acquiring Soto from the San Diego Padres, albeit just for one season with free agency looming after the 2024 campaign. 

Soto has remained non-committal when it comes to his future — a stance that plenty of athletes take — citing his trust in agent Scott Boras, who still has not found homes for two major free agents in Jordan Montgomery and reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell. Instead, he wants to focus on putting together a successful 2024 season and helping the Yankees end a 15-year championship drought. 

Should he continue producing at the already-impressive clip he’s shown over his first six pro seasons (.284/.421/.524, .946 OPS with 162-game averages of 33 home runs and 100 RBI), he is lined up for a sizable payday that is forecasted at over $500 million.

That’s money that Hal Steinbrenner has been cautious to dole out on big-time stars outside the Yankees organization save for Gerrit Cole. That same caution nearly saw Aaron Judge walk in free agency last winter.  

Steve Cohen Mets
Steve Cohen (Rob Cuni/AMNY)

This is where the Mets come in. 

They have big contracts coming off their books at the end of the 2024 season, most notably Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer’s, and owner Steve Cohen’s deep pockets make the National Leaguers an immediate contender in the Soto sweepstakes. 

ESPN’s Buster Olney has already heard rumblings of a pursuit 162 games, one postseason, and nine months before Major League Baseball’s hot stove heats up in December. 

The most interesting thing heard at Mets‘ camp yesterday — and it’s not surprising, given that the Scherzer contract (and others) will melt off their payroll next winter — is that they fully intend to take a run at Juan Soto next winter,” Olney wrote on Wednesday morning.

Granted, the organization has to decide on what it will do with homegrown product and already one of the franchise’s most prolific sluggers, Pete Alonso, who will also be a free agent following this season. President of baseball operations David Stearns did not broadcast much haste in trying to get a deal done before the season and proceeded to admit that the “most likely outcome,” will be contract talks in free agency next winter with the Boras client. 

He will be due a big contract of his own. Pair that with Soto’s projected deal of over $500 million and the Queens club would likely be exceeding the luxury tax threshold once again. 

Pete Alonso Mets
Pete Alonso (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

For more on Juan Soto, the Yankees, and Mets, visit AMNY.com