What Juan Soto trade means for the Yankees’ 2024 payroll


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Yankees could be on the way to testing the limits of Hal Steinbrenner’s payroll.

In finalizing a blockbuster trade to acquire Juan Soto from the Padres on Wednesday night, the Yankees showed their financial might by taking on the superstar and his 2024 salary — projected to be around $33 million in his final year of arbitration.

Before the trade went down, the Yankees’ projected luxury tax payroll for 2024 was roughly $256 million, per Cot’s Contracts.

Subtracting the players they gave up from the 40-man roster and accounting for Soto and Trent Grisham, the Yankees were expected to add around $31 million in salary to their payroll.

But they may not be done there.

Juan Soto
Juan Soto is now going to play in New York. USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

The Yankees are also making a strong push for Japanese right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who could command upwards of $300 million.

If that pursuit proves successful, the Yankees’ luxury tax payroll would almost certainly rise above $300 million, a level that Steinbrenner has said teams shouldn’t have to cross to win a championship.

Steinbrenner and general manager Brian Cashman have declined to say what their payroll could look like in 2024, but their actions are saying that the highest luxury tax threshold of $297 million is not much of a hindrance.

“The $300 million is not a hard threshold, any more than the last [$297 million] threshold is,” Steinbrenner said in November. “But yes, I do believe that a team shouldn’t need a $300 million payroll [to win a championship].”

“What this payroll turns out to be, I know Hal Steinbrenner and his team are always heavily invested in trying to make sure there’s a winner on the field in New York,” Cashman said at last month’s GM meetings. “That I know, I can just say generally, is never going to change. But what the payroll is and where it’s going, I’m not going to speak to that.”

If they do end up landing Yamamoto in addition to Soto, the Yankees could try to shed some payroll by trading a player like Gleyber Torres, who is projected to make around $15 million in his final year of arbitration.

Hal Steinbrenner
Hal Steinbrenner and the Yankees are bringing in a massive talent in Soto. AP

The Yankees had the second-highest payroll in baseball last season (just north of $290 million) behind the Mets, but appear to be willing to rise past that in 2024.

“As always, money comes off the payroll, my family does everything we can to put it back in and that’s not gonna be any different this year,” Steinbrenner said in November.

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