The Juan Soto sweepstakes are in full effect as baseball’s biggest stars gather in Hollywood for the MLB All-Star Game. While the festivities take place in LA, the baseball world is wondering where the star outfielder will end up.
Just about every player at All-Star week would take Soto on their team and Yankees slugger Aaron Judge was no different.
“Juan is a special player. He’s a special talent all around,” Judge said during All-Star media day. “I could sit here and talk about everything he does on the field. He’s also a leader too at such a young age. The type of player he is, he’s a leader in that clubhouse over there. Anywhere he goes, if he ends up getting traded or if it ends up the Nationals work out a deal at some point and he stays there for a long time, he’s going to help whatever team he goes to and win a lot of ball games.
“I would hate to see him go to a team we gotta play down the stretch. It would be fun to see him be in New York or be wherever he wants to be, but he’s definitely a game changer for sure.”
Soto would be a big boost for any team, but the Yankees would benefit from adding the young outfielder and bolstering their lineup for the stretch run of the season. New York is the best team in baseball and holds a 13.0 game lead over the Tamp Bay Rays in the AL East.
The 23-year-old outfield has hit .250 with 78 hits and 43 RBIs.
Soto reportedly turned down a 15-year, $440 contract offer from the Washington Nationals which opened the doors for him to potentially be moved at the Aug. 2 trade deadline. The contract would have been the largest in baseball history.
A number of potential suitors have emerged already including both the New York Mets and Yankees. The two clubs were among five teams that amNewYork identified as possible players in the Soto Sweepstakes.
And the thought of patrolling the outfield with Soto was one that Judge seemed up for.
“That’d be pretty special, he’s a generational talent,” Judge said. “Great left-handed bat that hit for average, hit for power, walks. He’s a competitor, he’s been in big games. That’d be pretty cool, but it’s kind of tough to talk about hypotheticals.”
"Juan's a special player. It would be fun to see him be in New York."
– Aaron Judge on Juan Soto pic.twitter.com/LgLP7MrMvn
— Yankees Videos (@snyyankees) July 18, 2022
The Yankees aren’t a lock to get Soto and whichever team does land the coveted player it would take a pretty penny to pry him away from the Nationals. The Yankees, or any other team for that matter, is looking at having to surrender a top prospect, a young major leaguer and potentially having to take on Patrick Corbin’s contract, according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post.
That means New York would have to part ways with the No. 8 prospect in MLB Anthony Volpe and find a young big leaguer on their roster to send in a deal as well. The Yankees have also been inclined not to want to trade away the franchise’s top two prospects in any deadline deals.
Does that change if there is a way to add Soto to the Bombers’ lineup? That’s not clear, but a player of his caliber would go a long way in helping shore up things in the outfield.