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Back in December 2023, the New York Yankees made huge news in the baseball world when the team pulled off a blockbuster trade with the San Diego Padres to land Juan Soto.

The Yankees traded a long list of prospects, including pitchers Michael King, Drew Thorpe, Jhony Brito, and Randy Vásquez and catcher Kyle Higashioka, to the Padres in exchange for Soto and outfielder Trent Grisham. Now, baseball news indicates that the Yankees are keen on maintaining Soto's presence for the foreseeable future.

It won’t necessarily be easy — or cheap — to convince Soto to stay in the Bronx for beyond one season. Although he signed a one-year, $31 million deal with the Yankees after getting traded this offseason, he’s reportedly looking for a long-term deal that could command big money. Some baseball insiders have speculated a Juan Soto contract with the Yankees could run for up to 15 years and pay him more than $50 million per year.

So, will Juan Soto and the Yankees figure out a way to get on the same page when it comes to his contract? One recent report revealed that the team has made re-signing Soto a “top priority.” But it’s unclear just how much the Yankees would be willing to pay Soto at this time, given that he hasn’t been a part of the team for very long.

It could all depend on Juan Soto’s stats during the 2024 season. Soto has routinely posted on-base percentages over .400 throughout his MLB career, which dates back to his 2018 rookie season with the Washington Nationals.

Most recently, he posted a .410 on-base percentage during the 2023 season with the Padres, and a repeat performance with the Yankees could earn him the new deal he’s looking for from the team.

The reception that Soto has received from Yankees fans so far this season could also play a key part in the team’s readiness to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into him and his future.

All indications are that Yankees fans have already fallen in love with the three-time MLB All-Star from the Dominican Republic, who is still just 25. They seem to love his power at the plate — he already has 11 home runs through the first 48 games of his short-lived Yankees tenure — just as much as they love his willingness to sign autographs for them.

Soto nearly missed the start of a game in April because he was busy signing autographs near the stands in right field at Yankee Stadium.

For now, it sounds like the Yankees are content to wait and see how the 2024 MLB season plays out before signing Soto to a massive contract. But after a recent victory against the Twins, Soto suggested he would be open to signing a new deal with the team before then if Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is ready to get a deal done.

“They know the phone number and everything,” Soto told reporters. “They know where to call. For me right here, I'm focusing on playing baseball.”

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