Juan Soto

Getty Juan Soto of the New York Yankees

The New York Yankees made one of the biggest splashes of the offseason when they acquired Juan Soto in a seven-player trade with the  San Diego Padres. Looking ahead to the coming offseason, they will once again be in the headlines. Juan Soto will be a free agent for the first time in his career. Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner recently spoke about getting an unprecedented extension done with Soto during the season. However, the New York Post’s Jon Heyman views it as a “major long shot.”

“I think it’s a major long shot, and I think the Yankees realize this,” said Heyman during a Bleacher Report live stream on May 22. “I don’t blame Hal Steinbrenner for giving it a shot. For saying, ‘We want to sign him and get it done in season.’”

Soto will likely demand a record-setting payday when the time for him to sign does come. Soto signed a $31 million contract this offseason, setting the record for an arbitration-eligible playerTim Britton of The Athletic has projected a 14-year, $540 million contract for the outfielder.

Yankees Comments on Extending Soto

“I don’t think there’s any doubt of that,” Steinbrenner said, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, of his desire to see Soto end his career in pinstripes. “His agent, Scott [Boras], doesn’t tend to normally do deals in the middle of a season. Neither do I. I think it can be a distraction. But as I said in Spring Training when I met with [the media], this is a unique situation and a very unique player. So, I wouldn’t be shocked if there was a conversation or two had possibly during the course of the season.”

Before the season began the Yankees had not “attempted to even explore what it might take to get an extension done,” according to NJ.com’s Randy Miller.

“Our expectation is that he’s going to go into free agency,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said March 16 . “We’ve been transparent with that. Obviously, if something changed on that we wouldn’t create a party line with it. It’d be something that I’m sure that would just happen, but right now we haven’t had any conversations.”

Whatever it takes to sign Soto will likely need to be more than the 15-year,$440 million extension he turned down from the Washington Nationalsaccording to MLB.com’s Jessica Camerato.

Soto Expected to Test Free Agency

“There’s no chance,” an American League executive said on Soto signing an extension in season, according to Feinsand. “I think he ultimately signs back with the Yankees, but Scott takes his guys into free agency.”

Soto not only turned down the Nationals’ extension offer, he turned down six other extension offers from the team he was on at the time, according to Heyman.

“He had seven offers over the past five-plus years to stay with the team he was on,” said Heyman. “He didn’t take any of them. now he’s closer than ever to free agency.”

Before the season Soto said his side was “willing to listen,” for a possible extension, according to Miller. His sentiments have not changed.

“My doors have been always open,” Soto said, according to Feinsand. “Whenever he wants to start talking with Scott and all those people, they’re always open. They’re always open to hear whatever he has. For me, I just focus on the game right now.”

Soto mentioned how nice it is to hear teams talking about how they want him on their teams for the rest of his career. Earlier in the season, Soto said he wants to sign a long-term deal and “just finish in that one spot,” according to ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez.

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