June 23, 2024

Juan Soto is a Yankee. What might his next contract look like?


Juan Soto is headed to the Bronx for his ultimate yr earlier than free company. The Yankees and Padres injected some much-needed buzz into the Winter Meetings by agreeing on a five-for-two deal to position Soto next to Aaron Judge in New York’s outfield.

Will or not it’s for a couple of yr? What might Soto make on the open market?

Soto ought to make round $33 million this yr — that arbitration estimate is courtesy of MLB Trade Rumors — which is able to push his profession earnings earlier than free company previous $80 million. He’s slated to hit free company after the season, getting into his age-26 season, that means a 14- or 15-year contract isn’t out of the realm of risk. (As groups have appeared to restrict a participant’s value towards the posh tax by making offers longer, we’ve seen extra gamers signal as much as and into their 40s, together with Trea Turner, Manny Machado and Xander Bogaerts final winter.)

The problem with Soto is the overall lack of comparable gamers hitting free company on the identical age as him. The frenzy round Yoshinobu Yamamoto has reiterated how groups worth these further prime years in a participant’s late 20s. For Soto, it principally goes again 5 years to the offers signed by Machado and Bryce Harper.

Player

  

Signed

  

Age

  

fWAR 1

  

fWAR 3

  

Years

  

Total

  

2023 AAV

  

2025

26

5.5

16.4

2019

26

6.2

14.9

10

300.0

35.7

2019

26

3.4

11.1

13

330.0

30.2

In common, Soto compares favorably to each these gamers on the identical age. He doesn’t personal an MVP award the best way Harper did, however he’s been a extra constant lineup presence than even Harper was earlier in his profession.

Machado’s deal can be price $357 million right this moment, Harper’s $393 million. To get a higher sense of a actual long-term deal for Soto, we may mash collectively Machado’s preliminary cope with San Diego with the contract extension he labored out final winter. The first 4 years of Machado’s deal equate to $144 million in right this moment’s cash, which we are able to add to the 11-year, $350 million extension he signed to land at 15 years and $494 million.

This might be the ground for that lengthy a deal for Soto.

Now the place’s the ceiling?

Whatever Shohei Ohtani indicators for this winter will assist set up simply how excessive Soto may go. In lieu of that, one inventive comparability for Soto is to Alex Rodriguez.

Player

  

Signed

  

Age

  

fWAR 1

  

fWAR 3

  

Years

  

Total

  

2023 AAV

  

2025

26

5.5

16.4

2001

25

9.5

22.1

10

252.0

43.1

2008

32

9.6

22.5

10

275.0

39.1

Soto doesn’t fare as nicely right here as he did within the earlier desk. He’s older than Rodriguez, doesn’t play a premium place and hasn’t been as persistently dominant as Rodriguez was at the moment. But bear with me right here.

Rodriguez signed his preliminary 10-year cope with Texas that might right this moment be price about $43 million per season. He opted out seven years into that deal and re-signed with the Yankees for one more 10 years that might be price simply shy of $400 million in right this moment’s cash. If we mixed these offers into one monster contract that additionally took Soto by his age-41 season, you’d get a 16-year deal price nearly $650 million.

Again, Soto is a lot nearer to Machado as a participant than he is to Rodriguez, and it’s awfully tough to make use of contracts greater than a decade outdated as comps. So that’s in all probability an unrealistic ceiling.

OK, one final methodology right here, utilizing Soto’s new teammate. Judge signed final winter for 9 years and $360 million, protecting his age-31 by age-39 season. Soto hasn’t been as productive main into his free company as Judge has, accumulating about 80 p.c of his worth.

Player

  

Signed

  

Age

  

fWAR 1

  

fWAR 3

  

Years

  

Total

  

2023 AAV

  

2025

26

5.5

16.4

2023

31

11.5

20.9

9

360.0

40.0

But, Soto’s next deal will seize 5 further prime seasons. Soto’s averaged 5.5 wins above alternative during the last three seasons, and he landed at that mark in 2023. If a single win above alternative is valued at about $9 million on the open market, that makes Soto’s prime years price $50 million apiece.

So let’s worth the primary 5 years of a Soto contract at $50 million every and his age-31 by age-39 seasons at 80 p.c of Judge, or $32 million. Add these two items collectively and also you get a 14-year deal price proper round $540 million in free company. If the Yankees wish to get the soar on an extension, add in Soto’s projected $33 million wage for 2024 and push it nearer to fifteen years and $575 million.

go-deeper

GO DEEPER

Juan Soto by the numbers: What Yankees are (and aren’t) getting plus a bold 2024 prediction

(Photo of Juan Soto: Orlando Ramirez/USA Today)





Source