In a blockbuster trade, the New York Yankees acquired outfielder Juan Soto from the San Diego Padres. This acquisition has produced a surge in the team’s World Series odds, as they are now the third-highest team on DraftKings’ MLB futures board, with +850 odds. Before joining the Yankees, Soto hit 35 home runs and drove in 109 RBI with the Padres last season, with a .275/.410/.519 slashline. Despite a slow start, he reached a career-high 35 home runs last season, and as a left-handed hitter, he is expected to take advantage of the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium.
As part of the deal, the Padres received four pitchers, including Michael King, Jhony Brito, Randy Vasquez, and Drew Thorpe, as well as backup catcher Kyle Higashioka. Outfielder Trent Grisham will also join the Yankees. The 25-year-old Soto has one more year on his contract. San Diego general manager A.J. Preller acknowledged the difficulty of trading a player of Soto’s caliber, but stated that the deal was made in order to strengthen the Padres’ pitching staff.
The addition of Soto alleviates the stark lack of hitting in the 2023 Yankees lineup, where right-handed hitters dominated. General manager Brian Cashman addressed this issue further by acquiring outfielder Alex Verdugo from the Boston Red Sox. The Soto trade reestablishes a potent left-handed power duo in the Yankees lineup.
The news of the Soto trade led to an immediate shift in the Yankees’ World Series odds, now at +850, making them one of the betting favorites. The team is also the betting favorite to win the AL pennant at +450 odds. DraftKings has even released a prop bet on whether Soto will reach 45+ home runs in the 2024 regular season, with “Yes” at +180 odds.
Together with Aaron Judge, Soto is expected to breathe new life into the Yankees lineup, offering hope to the fan base after a subpar season. The addition of Soto has the potential to reinvigorate the Yankees, as they strive to win their first championship since 2009.