MLB insider shares if Yankees’ Juan Soto could sign extension during season

    Add well-known MLB insider Bob Nightengale of USA Today to the list of noteworthy individuals who believe star New York Yankees outfielder Juan Soto won’t sign a contract extension this summer and will instead reach free agency after the World Series.

    “While Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said he’s interested in engaging in contract talks with right fielder Juan Soto and agent Scott Boras to avert free agency, with Soto saying he’s willing to listen, the cold truth is there is absolutely zero chance Soto will sign before he’s a free agent,” Nightengale wrote for an article updated on Sunday afternoon.

    Eyebrows were raised when it was learned last week that Steinbrenner said during a podcast episode that he wants Soto “here for the rest of his career.” Soto later insisted that his “door has always been open” regarding potential in-season contract negotiations, but multiple reporters have since suggested there’s little chance that Boras would let the 25-year-old sign an extension that would eliminate the possibility of a bidding war involving at least the Yankees and New York Mets. 

    Big-spending Mets owner Steve Cohen is expected to heavily pursue Soto this coming fall. 

    “He turned down a 15-year, $440M contract offer from the Washington Nationals two years ago,” Nightengale added about Soto. “So, what’s another six months? Soto can keep on hitting, sit back, and watch the bidding war emerge between the Yankees and Mets. Let’s see who blinks first and gives him $500 million.”

    Soto joined the Yankees from the San Diego Padres via a December trade and has emerged as a legitimate Most Valuable Player candidate while featuring for what began Monday as a 33-15 club. 

    As of late Monday morning, DraftKings Sportsbook listed Soto as the overall betting favorite at +225 odds to claim the American League MVP Award. That same outlet had the Yankees third among the betting favorites at +600 odds to win the World Series. 

    Across his first 48 games with the Yankees, Soto batted .311 with a .963 OPS to go along with 11 home runs and 37 RBI. He recorded his first multi-homer game as a Yankee in this past Saturday’s 6-1 win over the Chicago White Sox.

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