Soto agrees to record-setting $31M deal to avoid arbitration with Yanks (source)

January 12th, 2024

NEW YORK -- The Yankees were busy Thursday. They agreed to terms on one-year contracts for 2024 with all 10 of their arbitration-eligible players -- , , , , , , , , and .

Soto, acquired from the Padres in a trade last month, agreed to a $31 million contract, a source told executive reporter Mark Feinsand. The club did not confirm the dollar figure, which sets a new record for the largest one-year deal for an arbitration-eligible player, beating Shohei Ohtani's $30 million from last year.

Soto is eligible for free agency after the 2024 season.

Soto is coming off a season in which he led San Diego in home runs (35) and RBIs (109) and the Major Leagues in walks (132). During the second half of the 2023 season, Soto had a slash line of .286/.399/.568.

Grisham, who came to New York in the Soto trade, is one of the premier defensive outfielders in the game, having won two Gold Gloves with the Padres. However, in the past two years, Grisham hit a combined .191 with 30 home runs.

Verdugo was another trade acquisition, from the Red Sox. Last season, Verdugo hit .264 with 13 homers and 54 RBIs. Verdugo is expected to play left field, with Aaron Judge in center and Soto in right.

After Judge, Torres was New York’s best hitter in 2023, hitting .273 with 25 home runs, 68 RBIs and 90 runs. Like Soto, Torres could be a free agent after the season.

Trevino missed most of the second half last year because of a right wrist injury. He is expected to be ready for Spring Training.

The Yankees are hoping Cortes will be part of the starting rotation this coming season. Last year, the left-hander was plagued by shoulder problems and pitched only 12 games. The team hopes Cortes can repeat 2022, when he won 12 games with a 2.44 ERA.

Holmes spent the past two years as the closer, saving 44 games. He most likely will be in the same role this year if the Yankees don’t acquire a closer, like free agent Josh Hader. 

When he is healthy, Loáisiga is one of best relievers on the team. However, he missed the final 20 games of 2023 because of elbow inflammation.

Schmidt was a big part of the rotation last year, winning nine games with a 4.64 ERA.

Victor González, who arrived in a trade from the Dodgers, could be a lefty out of the bullpen. In 34 games for Los Angeles, he had a 4.01 ERA in 33 2/3 innings.