Juan Soto traded to New York Yankees in blockbuster deal: 4 more big moves they could make this offseason

After a Wednesday report claimed the New York Yankees were close to finalizing a trade for their top target this offseason, Juan Soto, a deal was finally completed later that night. The blockbuster deal may now open the door to several more big moves over the next month.

This is a big offseason for the Yankees as they try to bounce back from one of their worst years of this century. While the team was able to maintain its streak of “winning records” in 2023, their 82-80 finish fell well below the expectations of the legendary franchise.

Related: New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox pull off shocking 4-player blockbuster trade

However, the organization reportedly does not want to add a huge amount of salary to their already large payroll this offseason. That means general manager Brian Cashman will have to thread the needle a bit and be creative in finding ways to make them a title contender again without handing out massive contracts.

Well, it seems like he and the front office are off to a flying start. On Wednesday night multiple media reports finally confirmed the rumors that Soto, and veteran outfielder Trent Grisham, are headed to the Padres for a package that includes elite pitching prospects Michael King and Drew Thorpe. Another three players are also beig sent to the Friars, including two more pitchers.

The Yankees were linked to a trade for the All-Star outfielder for weeks, and despite reports last week that talks had stalled due to the Padres’ high asking price, New York gave in to San Diego’s demands for the two best arms in the Yanks system, King and Thorpe.

Soto fills many needs for the team heading into the offseason and is a huge addition to the lineup for 2024. However, the New York Yankees won’t end their offseason remodeling there. Let’s look at four other big moves the team could make in December.

4 big moves the New York Yankees might make after completing the Juan Soto trade

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Sign Jordan Montgomery or Eduardo Rodriguez

One of the Yankees’ top priorities this offseason is to improve their starting pitching depth behind American League Cy Young Gerrit Cole. While they have been linked to Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto, his asking price will likely be too much after new reports suggested he could get as much as $300 million in free agency.

That is why bringing back former homegrown product Jordan Montgomery or veteran lefty Eduardo Rodriguez may be the way the team goes in the coming weeks. Both had very strong seasons last year and while they won’t be cheap, they are impact arms that will come at a far more affordable rate than the likes of Yamamoto or Blake Snell.

Related: New York Yankees GM likely blew shot at signing top pitcher in MLB free agency after recent harsh comments

Trade Gleyber Torres to replenish the farm system

There have been rumblings since last year that the team has looked into the idea of trading Gleyber Torres. While moving a two-time All-Star second baseman who just hit 25 home runs isn’t a preferred option, his defense is a problem and the organization wants one of their young prospects to man his spot in the years to come.

Furthermore, moving him would slash money they could then use to re-sign Soto next winter and they could also aim to replenish some of their farm system that was gutted in the Padres trade.

Target Japanese outfielder Jung-Hoo Lee

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Although the Yankees also made a trade on Tuesday for Boston Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo, he is better suited as a fourth outfielder. Plus, super-prospect Jasson Dominguez is unlikely to play in the outfield next season following Tommy John surgery. That is why Japanese native and Korean league star Jung-Hoo Lee would be a good fit for New York.

He is the on-base machine like his idol Ichiro Suzuki, improves their outfield defense with a gold glove-level player, and is a long-term backup option if Soto does not re-sign for 2025 and beyond.

Related: New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants linked to Korean league version of Ichiro Suzuki in free agency

Add elite closer Josh Hader

The New York Yankees got a very solid effort from Clay Holmes as their closer last season, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea for him to continue in that role. However, the Pinstripes are at their best when they have an elite closer and one is available this offseason in Josh Hader.

Signing Hader to be the closer and moving Holmes to the setup role would give them a top-notch one-two punch again late in games and also stop him from landing with the champion Texas Rangers as has been rumored.

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