The biggest domino of the MLB offseason has fallen as the New York Yankees have officially acquired superstar outfielder Juan Soto from the San Diego Padres, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman reports.
The Yankees acquired Soto after a drawn out public negotiation, with varying reports claiming the deal was “close” leaking out throughout the day.
The package going back to San Diego is made up of five players: pitchers Michael King, Drew Thorpe, Jhony Brito and Randy Vazquez and catcher Kyle Higashioka, according to SNY’s Andy Martino.
Full trade: King, Thorpe, Vazquez, Brito
Higashioka for Soto and Grisham per sources
— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) December 7, 2023
The Padres will also send center fielder Trent Grisham to New York in the deal, per Sherman.
Soto is widely considered to be a generational talent. At just 25 years old he’s already made three all-star teams, won four silver slugger awards, helped lead the Washington Nationals to a World Series Championship in 2019 and slugged 160 home runs, according to Baseball Reference. (RELATED: Japanese Phenom Yoshinobu Yamamoto Is On His Way To America)
Despite his obvious talent, the cost to acquire him is high considering he will be a free agent after the 2024 season. This rental status initially appeared to make Yankees general manager Brian Cashman hesitant to include such a large haul of prospects. But, clearly, Cashman pulled the trigger following a very un-Yankees like season in which they missed the playoffs.
They’ll now pair Soto with Aaron Judge and have what is one of the most formidable outfields in the league, as well as a full year to court Soto in-house and convince him to sign a long term deal.
The package going back to the Padres is headlined by King, who’s pitched to a solid 3.38 earned run average in four seasons with the Yankees, per Baseball Reference.
The Soto trade is the biggest one yet in a relatively quiet MLB offseason, although it could be the move to clear the logjam. Just minutes after the deal was announced, ESPN’s Jeff Passan announced the Arizona Diamondbacks signed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez to an $80 million deal.