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MLB Offseason Round-Up: Yankees Make Blockbuster Trade to Acquire Juan Soto

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Juan Soto, MLB offseason

This is one in a series of daily articles highlighting the latest news and notes from the MLB offseason. 

It looked like a blockbuster trade was on the verge of spicing up this year’s bland Winter Meetings. It took longer than expected, but the New York Yankees finally got their man.

The Yankees acquired star outfielder Juan Soto, along with fellow outfielder Trent Grisham, from the San Diego Padres. In return, New York sent pitchers Michael King, Jhony Brito, Randy Vásquez and Drew Thorpe and catcher Kyle Higashioka to the Friars.

It’s the biggest deal of the MLB offseason to date as the Yankees add a three-time All-Star to a stacked outfield that includes former MVP Aaron Judge and the newly-acquired Alex Verdugo.

Last season with San Diego, Soto slashed .275/.410/.519 with 32 doubles, 35 home runs and 109 RBIs. For the third time in his career, Soto led baseball in walks (132).

In addition to Soto, the Yankees get an ideal fourth outfielder who is a capable defender in center field. Grisham has two Gold Gloves on his resumé.

From the Padres’ perspective, they clear nearly $40 million off their payroll based off of MLB Trade Rumor’s arbitration projections. They also add several big-league ready pitchers to help reinforce a staff that will be without Blake Snell, Josh Hader, Nick Martinez and others. They also get a needed backstop in Higashioka and a good-looking prospect in Thorpe.

SNAKES SPLURGE FOR STARTER

The Soto trade wasn’t the only big news from late Wednesday night. The Arizona Diamondbacks are in agreement with left-handed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez on a four-year deal worth $80 million, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The deal has a vesting option for a fifth year.

Rodriguez was a member of the Detroit Tigers for each of the past two seasons. In 2023, the 30-year-old went 13-9 with a 3.30 ERA across 26 starts. For his career, Rodriguez is 82-53 with a 4.03 ERA between his time with the Tigers and Boston Red Sox.

It’s a big addition for the reigning National League champs this MLB offseason.

KIMBREL TO BALTIMORE

The Baltimore Orioles announced that they have signed closer Craig Kimbrel to a one-year, $13 million deal with a club option for 2025. Kimbrel will be the Orioles’ closer as 2023 All-Star Félix Bautista will miss the season.

Kimbrel was an All-Star for the ninth time in his career this past season with the Philadelphia Phillies. He finished the year with a 3.26 ERA and 23 saves.

OTHER NEWS AND NOTES

  • The Cincinnati Reds are talking to free agent infielder Jeimer Candelario and are currently the frontrunners to land him, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi.
  • The Los Angeles Angels have agreed to a one-year, $1.65 million deal with lefty reliever Adam Cimber, per Passan.

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