MLB insider addresses odds of New York Yankees signing Juan Soto to contract extension in-season

Juan Soto contract news, New York Yankees news
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York Yankees outfielder Juan Soto made MLB news this past week by telling reporters that he would be open to negotiating a contract extension during the season. With the door seemingly open to a deal, New York has a chance to make Soto one of the highest-paid MLB players ever.

Soto has been everything New York hoped for and more. He carried the Yankees lineup early in the season until Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton heated up at the plate. With both of New York’s long-time sluggers now hitting for power and consistently producing, this has been one of the best teams in baseball.

  • Juan Soto stats (2024): 11 home runs, 37 RBI, 57 hits, 4 stolen bases, 9 doubles, .317/.414/.561, .975 OPS, 176 OPS+ 101 total bases in 180 at-bats

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However, when the Yankees traded for Soto this past offseason, the overwhelming expectation was that it would be a one-year pact before he tested MLB free agency this coming winter. New York knew losing Soto to MLB free agency in 2025 was a possibility, but still viewed the move as worthwhile.

Now that Soto is playing at an MVP-caliber level, the organization has publicly made it clear that it wants to sign him to a long-term extension. What’s most interesting is that Soto told reporters he is open to negotiations during the regular season.

“They know the phone number and everything. They know where to call. For me right here, I’m focusing on playing baseball. My thing is try to help the team win.”

Juan Soto on potential in-season contract negotiations with the New York Yankees (H/T ESPN)

Keeping Soto out of MLB free agency would be monumental for New York. Clubs like the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets will likely be making a push for him this winter, suitors with the pockets to compete in a bidding war with the Yankees. Unfortunately for New York, it appears Soto’s recent comments likely aren’t a reflection of what’s really going to happen.

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Appearing on Around the Bases, Jon Heyman of the New York Post explained why he strongly believes Soto won’t sign an extension with the Yankees this season and will test his market in free agency.

“I would expect nothing to come from this. That was a nice one-day story, but do we really think he’s signing in-season?…He has turned down seven contracts at this point, SEVEN. Why has he done that? It is to get to free agency.”

Jon Heyman on whether or not Juan Soto will sign a contract extension in-season with New York Yankees

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Repped by agent Scott Boras, there’s no reason for Soto to agree to a deal with the Yankees now. Even if the club is willing to make him the highest-paid baseball player ever, there would likely be other teams around the league willing to make similar offers.

Plus, Boras usually insists on his clients testing their market and having teams compete against one another. While it didn’t work out for some of his top free agents last offseason, Soto is one of the best players in baseball and he’ll be able to sort through plenty of offers this winter.

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