Yankees Could ‘Swap’ Juan Soto for Projected $225 Million Slugger

It would not be a traditional trade in the sense of two teams working out a deal. But according to New York baseball insider Jon Heyman, it’s entirely possible that the Yankees and Mets could wind up pulling off a de facto swap of star sluggers Pete Alonso and Juan Soto, with Soto being signed away from the Bronx by the Mets and the Yankees responding by heisting Alonso out of Queens.

 

The logic is sound. The Mets are happy with Alonso, of course, and have designs on re-signing him. But perhaps they could first take a detour and kick the tires on Soto, who is four years younger than Alonso and is the better all-around hitter. If that interaction gains traction and the Mets sign Soto, the Yankees would be on the lookout for a replacement.

 

Signing both Alonso and Soto would be too costly for the Mets, so Alonso would a good consolation prize for the Yankees. He’s not the disciplined hitter Soto is, but he is more of a pure slugger.

 

As Heyman wrote in the New York Post: “Is it possible slugging superstars Pete Alonso of the Mets and Juan Soto of the Yankees trade places this winter? While the most probable scenario has one or both star free agents staying put, the possibility of the mega-stars swapping teams shouldn’t be considered completely fanciful.”

 

Yankees Could Welcome 2nd Choice

Alonso, of course, is a 29-year-old three-time All-Star in the meat of his career, not a bad second choice for the Yankees or anyone seeking a top-shelf slugger next winter.

 

He has been very durable, missing only 24 games in five MLB seasons heading into this one, and, more important, he has been very productive. Alonso led the league with 53 home runs as a rookie in 2019, and has knocked 40-plus homers in each of his last two seasons. He drove in a league-high 131 runs in 2022 and batted in 118 last season, despite hitting only .217.

 

He has opened the season with six homers in his first 20 games, batting .241.

 

Alonso’s projected deals vary. At The Athletic, Tim Britton estimates he could get a seven-year extension from the Mets worth $190 million.

 

At Spotrac, they were predicting a nine-year, $270 million extension with the Mets heading into the 2024 season, but that did not come to fruition. So an eight-year, $225 million deal is their pick.

 

Juan Soto Could Land Record Deal

That’s considerably cheaper than Soto’s projection. He has been just what the Yankees had hoped from the No. 2 spot, leading the league in walks (18) and on-base percentage (.469). He is batting .354 with five home runs and 20 RBIs in 21 games.

 

Soto hit 160 home runs in seven seasons entering this one, and knocked a career-high 35 last year. He also had a league-best 132 walks, and has led the league in walks for three straight seasons.

 

Soto is expected to generate an annual salary of $34 million, and Spotrac projects him to warrant a (take a deep breath) 12-year, $408 million contract next winter.

 

Heyman, though, speculates that the Yankees will offer even more, a record-breaking contract that will keep him in pinstripes.

 

“The Yankees, in fact, seem primed to make a record offer if you count Shohei Ohtani’s $700M deal as $462M based on deferrals/net present value. Soto is not only an on-base machine (an AL best .478) that’s brought the Yankees back to Bronx Bomber status, he’s already bonding with Yankee fans, thanks to an enthusiastic demeanor,” Heyman wrote.

 

 

Gideon Canice

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