The Yankees got a whole lot better on Wednesday after finalizing the blockbuster acquisition of Juan Soto in an offseason trade with the Padres.
On Thursday, general manager Brian Cashman told reporters that the Soto trade is a big step in New York’s desire to be “the mecca of baseball.”
“The culture we have with the Yankees that we project constantly is our intent to win,” said Cashman, via ESPN. “We’re here. We’re in it to win it. So that’s messaging that’s constantly being reinforced.
“So I think that’s a recruiting beacon for anybody. I know the question is specifically about Juan Soto, but I think we certainly want to try to always under the Steinbrenner leadership to make this the mecca of baseball.”
"We want to make this the Mecca of baseball"
Brian Cashman on the Yankees enticing star players like Juan Soto to remain with the franchise long-term: pic.twitter.com/i5PhmHP4VS
— Yankees Videos (@snyyankees) December 7, 2023
The Yankees’ 82 wins last season were the franchise’s fewest in a 162-game season since 1992. They missed the postseason for the first time since 2016.
The acquisition of Soto fills a major need for the franchise, adding a top-tier left-handed bat to fill the vacancy in left field that had become something of a revolving door last year. No one started more than 51 games in left field for New York last season, so Soto figures to provide some consistency there, in addition to his star power.
With the Soto deal completed, the Yankees are set to turn their sights toward Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto, with whom the franchise is reportedly expected to meet with on Monday.
An offseason in which Cashman was able to land both Soto and Yamamoto would certainly mark a step in the right direction toward the Bronx regaining its status as the “mecca of baseball.”