The Yankees’ hunt for a game-changing player might have just made a few inches of progress.
According to SNY’s Andy Martino on Wednesday, the Yankees and San Diego Padres have begun “exchanging names,” on a potential trade that would send Juan Soto to the Bronx. Considering San Diego’s understandably high asking price, the two sides are nowhere near close to an agreement.
It’s the latest development of conversations between the two clubs that have gone on for weeks, now. The Yankees are in desperate need of another major offensive presence to provide some help for slugger Aaron Judge and Soto has been linked to them since speculation began to arise that Soto could be traded from San Diego.
The Padres are in the midst of a salary cap crunch needing to shed 20% of their salary this winter. Given their numerous big contracts on the books, including the deals of Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr., Soto’s $33 million that he’s expected to get in arbitration in 2024 is likely too large for them to make work.
Now, the time has come to try and recoup a fraction of the king’s ransom they let go to the Washington Nationals when trading for Soto at the 2022 trade deadline. Granted, their return will be limited now that Soto is preparing for his final season before free agency.
Not only will the Padres be searching for top prospects, but they’re also in need of legitimate pitching depth seeing as reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell is on the cusp of walking elsewhere in free agency — another cap casualty.
The Yankees could offer the likes of Jasson Dominguez and Anthony Volpe to headline the prospect pool while younger pitchers like Clarke Schmidt and Michael King could be floated as well, per Martino.
Soto posted a .930 OPS, 35 home runs, 109 RBI, and a league-leading 132 walks in 2023. Entering his seventh MLB season, he boasts a .946 career OPS with 162-game averages of 33 home runs and 100 RBI.