Juan Soto closes the door on extension, eyes MLB free agency after 2024 season

New York Yankees star Juan Soto all but confirmed on Friday that he'll hit MLB free agency after the season.

Juan Soto
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees’ hopes of signing star outfielder Juan Soto to a contract extension this season might have just gone up in flames.

On the very same day that Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner was called out for his stance on needing to cut payroll, Soto spoke to media.

The conversation quicky turned to Soto’s status as a free agent after the 2024 MLB season and a potential extension from New York before he hits the open market.

About that? His response likely wasn’t what Yankees fans or the brass had hoped for. Soto pretty much confirmed that he’ll hit the MLB free agent market.

It must be noted that Soto is making his return to San Diego this weekend. Context matters to an extent. He played parts of the past two seasons with the Padres. Even then, the three-time All-Star is talking about free agency as an inevitability.

New York Yankees' Juan Soto
Credit: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

As noted above, Steinbrenner is being criticized for comments earlier in the week about the need to cut payroll moving forward.

“I’m gonna be honest, payrolls at the levels we’re at right now are simply not sustainable for us financially,’’ Steinbrenner said this week. “It wouldn’t be sustainable for the vast majority of ownership [groups], given the luxury tax we have to pay.’’

You better believe that Soto and super-agent Scott Boras caught wind of this quote before he met with media ahead of Friday night’s game in Southern California.

Steinbrenner had in the past indicated that contract extension talks with Juan Soto and his camp could start soon. Now, we’re not too sure.

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