Juan Soto is finally a New York Yankee. Took long enough

Juan Soto is finally a New York Yankee. Took long enough

The New York Yankees have finally acquired outfielder Juan Soto from the San Diego Padres, according to New York Post columnist Joel Sherman, and ESPN’s Jeff Passan. 

As of 11 p.m. EST on Dec. 6, the teams had still not announced the deal.

According to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, the Padres are expected to receive Michael King and Drew Thorpe, the Minor League Pitching Prospect of the Year winner, as the centerpieces of the package. Also headed west are Jhony Brito, Randy Vasquez, and backup catcher Kyle Higashioka. Outfielder Trent Grisham will join Soto in the Bronx as part of the deal.

King has pitched for the Yankees as both a starter and reliever since 2019. 2023 saw King’s highest-ever usage rage, posting a 2.75 ERA and 127 strikeouts over 104.2 innings. Thorpe is the Yankees’ second-ranked pitching prospect and fifth-ranked overall prospect. New York drafted the right-handed pitcher in the second round of the 2022 MLB draft. As a member of the Cal Poly Mustangs, Thorpe won Big West Conference Pitcher of the Year as a junior, finishing the year 10-1 with a 2.32 ERA and 149 strikeouts.

Brito, who debuted this past season, appeared in 25 games this season, starting 13. He was 9-7 with a save, and a 4.28 ERA. Vasquez, who was also called up in 2023, started five of the 11 games he appeared in, pitching to a 2.87 ERA.

Higashioka debuted for the Bronx Bombers in 2017 and has primarily served as the team’s second catcher. He’s a career .210 hitter who slugged 10 home runs in each of the past three seasons.

This transaction comes after the Bronx Bombers swung a rare trade with the rival Red Sox for another outfielder — Alex Verdugo. According to reports, the Yankees would put Verdugo in left, move Aaron Judge to center, and play Soto in right.

Soto began his professional career with the Washington Nationals in 2018, playing a pivotal run in the franchise’s first-ever World Series title in 2019. The lefty-swinging outfielder has locked up two All-MLB First Team nominations in addition to four Silver Slugger awards and the 2020 NL batting title.

The three-time All-Star spent his last two seasons in San Diego after being acquired from the Washington Nationals in the 2022 trade deadline. Soto is coming off one of his best seasons in three years, hitting a career-high 35 home runs, a career-best 12 stolen bases, and 109 RBIs — his second-highest total — in 2023.

Soto, 25, is in his fourth and final year of arbitration. He will become an unrestricted free agent in 2025 if the Yankees do not sign him to an extension.

For his career, Soto is a .284 hitter, with 160 home runs, and a 157 OPS+.

Grisham is expected to be a fourth outfielder for New York. He’s won two Gold Gloves.

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.