June 25, 2024

The New York Mets are reportedly gearing up to make a significant push for New York Yankees star outfielder Juan Soto if he hits free agency this fall. According to MLB insider Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the Mets are poised to emerge as a major contender for Soto’s services. This pursuit is fueled by the Mets’ owner, Steve Cohen, who is anticipated to ramp up spending next offseason after what many perceive as a relatively subdued period of activity for the team. Heyman suggests that Mets baseball president David Stearns has a preference for signing free agents aged 28 and younger, making the 25-year-old Soto an ideal target. Cohen’s ambition to secure a World Series championship within the first five years of his ownership tenure may further motivate the Mets’ aggressive pursuit of Soto.

Heyman highlighted that in the fall of 2022, the Mets refrained from pursuing All-Star slugger Aaron Judge, reportedly due to a desire to maintain a cordial relationship between Mets owner Steve Cohen and Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner. This decision was aimed at avoiding a contentious bidding war that could strain their rapport. However, with Soto now in Yankees’ colors following his recent acquisition from the San Diego Padres in December, the dynamics may have shifted.

Soto, represented by prominent agent Scott Boras, appears unlikely to ink an extension with the Yankees before hitting free agency after the 2024 World Series. Boras also represents Mets’ All-Star first baseman Pete Alonso, who is entering his walk year. Tim Britton of The Athletic suggested that Cohen could potentially re-sign Alonso and still afford Soto afterward. Britton offered contract projections of a 14-year, $540M deal ($38.5M average annual value) for Soto and a six-year, $168M deal ($28M AAV) for Alonso. This strategy could involve extending Alonso’s contract duration to reduce the average annual value, thereby accommodating both players within the team’s financial framework.

Heyman suggested that Soto could potentially command a deal surpassing $500M from teams like the Mets, Yankees, Los Angeles Angels, Boston Red Sox, or Chicago Cubs. Although numerous variables could influence the situation before Soto reaches free agency, indications suggest that Cohen could extend a compelling offer to the three-time All-Star.

Insider expands on Mets' planned pursuit of Yankees' Soto

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