Yankees set to acquire OF Juan Soto in blockbuster trade

Field Level Media

December 06, 2023 at 10:50 pm.

Juan Soto will be wearing pinstripes next season.

The New York Yankees acquired the 25-year-old outfielder from the San Diego Padres on Wednesday in a seven-player blockbuster, multiple outlets reported.

The Yankees agreed to send right-handed pitchers Michael King, Drew Thorpe and Jhonny Brito, left-hander Randy Vasquez and catcher Kyle Higashioka to the Padres in exchange for Soto and outfielder Trent Grisham.

Soto, a free agent after the 2024 season, is a .284 career hitter with 160 home runs and 483 RBIs to go along with 786 total hits and .421 on-base percentage.

Acquiring Soto and Grisham, coupled with a Tuesday trade with the Boston Red Sox for Alex Verdugo, gives the Yankees a plethora of options around 2022 American League MVP Aaron Judge.

Signing Soto long-term became unrealistic for the Padres last winter when San Diego added shortstop Xander Bogaerts in free agency on an 11-year, $280 million contract while also retaining third baseman Manny Machado on a whopping 11-year, $350 million commitment. Those contracts came after San Diego locked up Fernando Tatis Jr. with a 14-year, $340 million pact in February 2021.

The Padres acquired Soto from the Washington Nationals at the 2022 trade deadline. At the time a two-time All-Star at age 23, Soto had declined multiple long-term contract offers from the Nationals, according to GM Mike Rizzo, including a 15-year, $440 million contract.

San Diego gave up a mammoth haul to land Soto and first baseman Josh Bell: right-hander Jarlin Susana, left-hander MacKenzie Gore, outfielder Robert Hassell III, shortstop C.J. Abrams, outfielder James Wood.

Soto hit .275 with 35 home runs, 109 RBIs and led MLB with 132 walks with the Padres last season.

Grisham, 27, hit just .198 in 2023 but slugged 13 home runs to go with 50 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in 153 games. He’s a career .216 hitter.

Higashioka, 33, hit .236 with 10 HRs and 36 RBIs in 92 games this season.

Brito, 25, went 9-7 with a 4.28 ERA in 25 games (13 starts) this past season, his rookie campaign.

Vasquez, 25, made his major league debut in May and went 2-2 with a 2.87 ERA in 11 games (five starts).

King, 28, is 13-17 with a 3.38 ERA in 115 career games (19 starts) with the Yanks.

The Yankees selected Thorpe, 23, in the second round of the 2022 draft. He went 14-2 with a 2.52 ERA in 23 starts between long A and Double-A in 2023. He struck out 182 in 139.1 innings.