Saturday, June 15, 2024

Evil Empire back? Yankees acquire Juan Soto in blockbuster deal

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Is the Evil Empire back? The New York Yankees were once the top player to acquire the best players in baseball.

Money was no object to them as they pursued the best players. This was during their championship era.

Former San Diego Padres star Juan Soto celebrates with teammates in the dugout after scoring in the second inning against the Chicago White Sox
Juan Soto celebrates with teammates in the dugout after scoring in the second inning against the Chicago White Sox (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

Without no championship in approaching two decades, the Bronx Bombers decided to strike a deal for one of the best players in baseball. It may also signal a new era in the Evil Empire.

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The Yankees made a blockbuster deal with the San Diego Padres at the annual Winter Meetings. Juan Soto and Trent Grisham has been traded to the Big Apple.

The 25-year-old Soto, who has been widely considered one of the best young players in the game, has one-year left on his contract. He may be a one-year rental with the team if no long-term agreement can be reached. 

In exchange, the Padres are receiving five players. This includes right-handed pitchers Michael King, Drew Thorpe, Jhony Brito, and Randy Vásquez, in addition to catcher Kyle Higashioka.

According to MLB Pipeline, Vásquez was the Yankees 13th-best prospect, while Thorpe was ranked 99th overall in their Top 100 prospects. 

“He’s as good an offensive player as there is,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said before the trade was completed. “He is a machine offensively — on base, power, and has accomplished a ton already at a young age.”

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Soto spent part of two seasons with the Padres. Last season, he appeared in a career-high 162 games. He also had a .275 batting average with 35 home runs and 109 RBIs in 568 at-bats. 

This one year will give GM Brian Cashman potentially enough time to strike a deal for the young star. He previously turned down a 15-year, $440 million deal from the Washington Nationals in July 2022, before his eventual trade to the Padres. 

“When you’re a great player, you’re a professional, and you always hope that wherever you’re at, you have a chance to win and a chance to play well,” Agent Scott Boras said. “Certainly, at this level with those kinds of players, that’s where players end up – because the teams inquiring know that they have to make a substantial investment in them now and in the future.”

In his career, Soto has had a .284 batting average in 779 games. He has had 160 home runs and 483 RBIs. 

The 27-year-old Grisham will be joining his third MLB team. He also previously played for the Milwaukee Brewers during the 2019 season. 

In his career, he has a .216 batting average with 61 home runs and 215 RBIs in 547 games. 

Grisham and Soto are the third left-handed outfielders in two separate deals over the past two days. The team also acquired Alex Verdugo in a rare trade with the Boston Red Sox.

King, the 28-year-old, had spent five seasons with the Yankees before the trade. Last season, he went 4-8 with a 2.75 ERA in 104 2/3 innings.

In his career, he has gone 13-17 with a 3.38 ERA. He has also started 19 games with 24 games finished and seven saves over 247 2/3 innings.

Brito, 25, made his Major League Baseball debut in 2023. He went 9-7 with a 4.28 ERA in 25 games, including 13 starts. He also had one game finished and one save over 90 1/3 innings.

Higashioka, 33, has spent his entire career with the Yankees before this trade. He had been with the team since the 2017 season.

He has a .210 batting average with 40 home runs and 121 RBIs in 314 games. Last season, he had a .236 batting average with 10 home runs and 34 RBIs in 92 games.

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Anthony Caruso III
Anthony Caruso III
Anthony Caruso III is the Publisher of The Capital Sports Report. He has been in the Journalism field since August 2002. Since that time, Mr. Caruso has covered many marquee events. This includes 13 Heisman Trophy ceremonies, 2 Little World Series events, and one Army-Navy College Football game.
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