Yankees Superstar Juan Soto Not Ready to Make Long-Term Commitment to New York

Juan Soto and the New York Yankees seem like a perfect match.

Over the team’s first 36 games of the season, Soto established himself as the team’s leading man, hitting .316/.421/.559 with eight home runs, 28 RBIs and a number impressive 26 walks to just 23 strikeouts. He’s also been an above-average outfielder, which is a huge improvement over what he’s been the past two seasons.

Soto’s first year in New York couldn’t have gotten off to a better start, especially with the Yankees 10 games above .500 at 23-13. But with Soto in the middle of a contract year, it’s easy to want to look to the future.

Recently, Jon Heyman of the New York Post did just that, asking Soto about his potential future with the organization. Not surprisingly, Soto wasn’t yet ready to make a long-term commitment to New York.

“I mean, right now, I’m still learning the team. You can’t tell after a month of the season,” Soto told Heyman. “We have to see how things will go until the end of the season.”

Juan Soto
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 05: Juan Soto #22 of the New York Yankees in action against the Detroit Tigers at Yankee Stadium on May 05, 2024 in New York. The Yankees defeated…

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Soto, however, made it clear how much he is enjoying his first season in New York.

“I really enjoyed it,” Soto said. “It’s been a great experience. It’s a great group of guys. We all feel comfortable playing for each other. So far, we feel good.”

Soto is on pace to have one of the best offensive seasons in Yankees history. He’s been the most consistent force on a roster that’s needed it, especially with 2022 American League MVP Aaron Judge off to a slow start by his standards.

Judge appeared in all 36 games, but hit .220 with seven home runs, 20 RBIs, 26 walks and 44 strikeouts. His .789 OPS would be the lowest of any season in his career, with the exception of his rookie season in 2016, when he had just 95 plate appearances.

However, Judge should figure things out sooner rather than later, and the Yankees will potentially receive another boost next month in the form of ace Gerrit Cole.

That should take some pressure off Soto, who appears unfazed during his first month in New York.

Soto rejected a 15-year, $440 million deal with the Washington Nationals before trading him in August 2022 to the San Diego Padres. A little over a year later, in December 2023, he was on the move again, this time heading to New York, as the Padres knew they were unlikely to reach a record extension with Soto as well.

The Yankees have the money to make it happen and Soto seems happy in New York. He’s expected to break two-way star Shohei Ohtani’s record for average annual value, though, so the Yankees will have to cough up their largest contract ever to achieve that. That record currently belongs to Judge, who signed a nine-year, $360 million contract in December 2022.