(CTN News) – Late on Wednesday night, the New York Yankees made a significant move by acquiring the talented All-Star hitter Juan Soto in a high-profile trade with the San Diego Padres, who were looking to reduce costs.
As part of the deal, the Padres received a group of right-handed pitchers consisting of Michael King, Jhony Brito, Randy Vásquez, and Drew Thorpe, as well as catcher Kyle Higashioka.
In addition to Juan Soto, the Yankees also secured the services of the exceptional Gold Glove center fielder Trent Grisham. The trade was officially announced by both teams during the late hours of Wednesday night.
In less than two years, there has been a second major deal involving the 25-year-old Juan Soto.
After an impressive season with the Padres, where he recorded a batting average of .275, hit 35 home runs, and achieved 109 RBIs with a .930 OPS, Juan Soto has one more season of team control remaining. It is expected that he will receive a salary of approximately $32 million.
San Diego acquired Juan Soto from Washington on August 2, 2022, after he declined a $440 million, 15-year offer from the Nationals.
Soto will now be joining the Yankees outfield, alongside fellow All-Star Aaron Judge in center field and newly acquired Alex Verdugo in the other corner.
This addition of Soto and Verdugo brings a left-handed bat to a lineup that has been predominantly right-handed for several seasons.
Last year, Yankees lefties contributed 55 home runs and 171 RBIs, while righties accounted for 164 home runs and 479 RBIs. It is worth noting that the Yankees missed the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
This trade comes at a time when reports suggest that the Padres are looking to reduce their payroll by up to $50 million. Despite having aspirations of reaching the World Series, the Padres had a disappointing season and failed to make the playoffs.
Additionally, the team is in dire need of starting pitching after NL Cy Young Award winners Blake Snell, Michael Wacha, and Seth Lugo became free agents.
Soto, a young free agent represented by Scott Boras, has had a successful career with a .284 batting average, 160 home runs, and a World Series title.
The Padres traded for him, hoping for playoff success, but fell short. There were rumors of a contract extension, but Boras likely pushed for free agency. King, a right-handed pitcher, throws fast and had a strong season, especially after transitioning to the starting rotation.