The Mets and Yankees are both in on Juan Soto as the sweepstakes heat up
Baseball fans, I officially welcome you to the second half of the 2022 MLB season. What a time to be a fan of New York baseball. Whether you bleed orange and blue, or pledge allegiance to the Evil Empire, you can't go wrong with rooting for either team, as postseason baseball is right around the corner in both Queens and the Bronx.
(Robert Sabo/Getty Images)
The New York Mets enter the second half of the season with the second best record in the National League behind the Los Angeles Dodgers, with an NL East leading 58-35 record, 2.5 games ahead of the Atlanta Braves.
The Mets flexed their muscles against the titans of the National League all throughout the first half of the season, and keep in mind, they did this without the best pitcher in baseball, Jacob deGrom, and also had to deal with Max Scherzer missing some time as well. But the Amazin's have been able to keep their head's above water and show their fans, and the rest of the league, that they're not backing down in the face of adversity.
Pete Alonso set a Mets' franchise record just prior to the All-Star break. During a doubleheader sweep of the Chicago Cubs, Alonso notched his 75th and 76th RBIs of the season, passing David Wright's record of 74 RBIs by a Met before the All-Star break. Alonso is on pace to put up career numbers this year, and is slowly solidifying himself as one of the greatest hitters in Mets history, next to the likes of Mike Piazza, David Wright, Darryl Strawberry, Keith Hernandez and so many more before him.
The Mets had four representatives at this year's All-Star festivities in Los Angeles. Jeff McNeil started at second base for the National League, with Pete Alonso, Edwin Diaz, and Starling Marte waiting in the wings as reserves.
The New York Yankees currently have the best record in the entire MLB, sitting at 64-29, and are the heavy favorites to win the American League this year. It would be the Yankees' first World Series appearance since they won it all in 2009.
Aside from their pure dominance, the biggest topic of discussion surround the Yankees this season has been their superstar slugger, Aaron Judge. Judge is putting up MVP numbers this year, with a .282 batting average, a league leading 33 home runs, 70 RBIs, .981 OPS, and, for as big of a guy as Judge is, 8 stolen bases! Judge is currently showing the Yankees that he is worth the blank paycheck that he is hoping to receive in the midst of a contract dispute between the two parties.
Aaron Judge isn't the only Yankee experiencing great success this year. Giancarlo Stanton went from being booed by his own fans at Yankee Stadium, to being a hero out in right field, receiving standing ovations as he trots out from the dugout. Nestor Cortes, once a relief pitcher, has put up very impressive numbers at the number two spot in the Yankees' rotation. And most heartwarming of all, the resurgence of Matt Carpenter.
The Yankees had six representatives attend the 2022 MLB All-Star game, with both Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton starting in the outfield, while Nestor Cortes, Gerrit Cole, Clay Holmes and Jose Trevino got the call to be on reserve.
But enough with the warm welcome, let's discuss what we're here to talk about. There is a very good chance that the Mets and Yankees meet in the 2022 World Series, as two of the top clubs in their respective leagues. As of right now, the two New York baseball teams aren't battling on the field, but in the front office.
After declining a 15-year, $440 million contract extension from the Washington Nationals, it is fully expected that the 23-year-old slugger -- and generational talent -- Juan Soto, be dealt to another team by this year's trade deadline. And can you guess which two teams are among those that are believed to be in on Soto? Yep, the two Major League Baseball clubs that call New York City home.
For decades now, the Yankees have been in on seemingly every big name free-agent and trade target. Over the years, the Bronx Bombers have earned the reputation of "buying their championships."
After 30+ years of living under tyranny, the New York Mets finally have an owner, Steve Cohen, who is looking to turn the Metropolitans into what the Yankees have been since George Steinbrenner bought the team back in 1973; a perennial winner who spends money and brings championships to the great city of New York.
And what a job Steve Cohen has done so far. In his two season's as the Mets majority owner, Cohen has brought in star players such as Francisco Lindor, Max Scherzer, Starling Marte, Chris Bassitt, Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker, all of whom are playing significant roles in helping the Mets' achieve their best regular season since 2015.
What can the Mets offer to the Nationals for Juan Soto, however? A lot, actually.
It's no surprise that the Mets have the money to bring Soto to Queens, and they do have the prospects. The big question, and possibly the biggest hurdle that the Mets have to navigate in order to land Soto, is convincing the Nationals front office to trade their homegrown superstar to a hated division rival. You have to wonder, are the Nationals willing to deal Soto to the Mets? So he can flame them 19 times a year over the next decade? I wouldn't blame Nationals President, Mike Rizzo, for being hesitant when it comes to accepting a deal with the Mets.
The Mets are home to the No. 2 prospect in all of baseball right now, Fransisco Álvarez. the 20-year-old catcher has been tearing it up with the Triple-A Syracuse Mets this season, and is presumably on pace to be called up to the big leagues sooner rather than later.
The 2022 MLB Draft took place last week, and with the 11th pick, the Mets took Kevin Parada, a catcher out of Georgia Tech. They would later take shortstop, Jett Williams, out of Rockwall-Heath High School with the 14th pick.
With Parada -- another young, promising catching prospect -- entering the organization, Mets fans racked their brains for days wondering if this meant the end for Francisco Álvarez's Mets' tenure. Of course, as New York sports fans do, everyone jumped to the conclusion that Álvarez is going to Washington in a blockbuster trade package for Juan Soto.
As of right now, the St. Louis Cardinals are the only reported team to have reached out to the Nationals in regard to their young star, as front office's all around the MLB pump their brakes on the Soto sweepstakes. This is due to reports that surfaced saying that the Nationals would be demanding "multiple major leaguers and top prospects," and any potential trade partner would have to be willing to take on Patrick Corbin's bloated contract. General manager's are also privy to the fact that Soto is set to hit free agency in 2025, and he'll obviously be demanding a huge payday.
So with all of that being said, there is a huge price to pay for a player who could only turn out to be a two-year rental.
There is absolutely no guarantee that Soto re-signs with the team he's traded to, which is why I personally believe that he will finish the 2022 season in Washington, and the team will then explore trade packages for the superstar during the offseason.
But that's enough on my end about what hand the Mets are playing in the race for Juan Soto, let me turn things over to House Enterprise co-founder, and diehard Yankees fan, Will Tondo.
"In the opening hours of the All-Star week of celebration, baseball journalists took the time to get a consensus on the whole Juan Soto trade rumors. They turned to the brass of the Yankees organization, who weren’t too shy to share their opinions.
'You know where I really don’t want him going — I don’t want him going up to Boston,' Gerrit Cole said. 'But if he’s going to go [get traded,] I want him to come to us.'
'I would hate to see him go to a team that we gotta play down the stretch,' Aaron Judge said. 'It’d be fun to see him be in New York or be wherever he wants to be.'
I mean, they are absolutely right. The rumor mill has been churning out information, and the Yankees are a team that is linked to the 23-year-old National. The lefty would be a perfect addition to the Short Porch in the Bronx, so what will it take to land his services?
Being a generational talent, and a UFA in 2025, this trade is going to be pricey, but I think the Nationals can be realistic. If Soto turned down a 15 year, $440M contract, he’s going to leave no matter what. Washington can’t get too egregious.
My best guesses are at least one of either Anthony Volpe or Oswald Peraza (the Yankees top 2 prospects who are both shortstops) outfield Jasson Dominguez, and pitcher Ken Waldichuk. That’s three top-five prospects. A trade package could also include young players who have already flashed some big-league experience. Guys like JP Sears, Luis Gil, and Estevan Florial. All in all, I think Yankees GM, Brian Cashman, should throw together a very compelling deal for a guy like Soto.
If the Nationals need to make the money work, I can see them throwing in Patrick Corbin, who the Yankees wanted before he signed with the Nationals. He could be a rebuilding project for Matt Blake."
- Will Tondo