MLB Rumors: Yankees’ Juan Soto Eyeing Record Free-Agent Contract Starting at $500M

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Juan Soto will be Major League Baseball’s next star to land a significant contract, and it appears we finally have an idea of what it might cost to land the star slugger when he hits free agency after the 2024 season.
Soto and his agent, Scott Boras, “are after records” on his next contract, and a deal is expected to start at $500 million, according to The Athletic’s Brittany Ghiroli.
“He’s got big eyes,” a source who was with Soto while he was playing for the Washington Nationals told Ghiroli. “I think he’s after the AAV (average annual value) Ohtani has, without the deferrals.”
The Athletic polled a half-dozen MLB executives and “only one was wary of committing that much money to Soto,” so he could have a decent number of suitors once he hits the open market.
Soto began his career with the Nationals and spent four-and-a-half seasons with the franchise before being traded to the San Diego Padres during the 2022 campaign. He notably declined a 15-year, $440 million extension offer from the Nationals before being dealt to the Padres.
The 25-year-old spent the entire 2023 season in San Diego, and he was effective for the Friars, hitting .275/.410/.519 with 35 home runs, 109 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 162 games.
However, Soto knew he wasn’t going to land a long-term deal with the Padres given their financial commitments to Xander Bogaerts, Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr., who each have contracts worth at least $280 million.
“There’s no money for me here,” Soto said, according to numerous sources within the team who spoke with Ghiroli.
The Padres proceeded to trade Soto to the Yankees in December in a package that also included Trent Grisham. San Diego received pitchers Michael King, Jhony Brito, Randy Vásquez and Drew Thorpe and catcher Kyle Higashioka in exchange.
For the Yankees, the move has paid dividends as the franchise is off to a 5-1 start to the 2024 season. Soto is off to an incredible start, hitting .417/.517/.583 with one home run and four RBI in six games.
The Yankees “figure to be interested in signing Soto long-term,” according to Ghiroli. Doing so would keep him paired with the likes of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton in a star-studded lineup.

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