3. There's no guarantee of keeping Soto beyond this upcoming season
Soto's contract runs for only one more season. Is it worth it to pay a high price for a player that could end up only a one-year rental? Perhaps for one of the few teams that is on the cusp of competing for a World Series, but after last year, the Mets can't realistically count themselves among that group.
Scott Boras clients typically test the free agent waters, and the prevailing sentiment around Major League Baseball is that Soto will be no exception. He projects to have suitors lined up around the block for his services at this time next year, especially after the eye-popping numbers he's likely to put up by hitting to Yankee Stadium's short right field porch.
Boras and Soto have done nothing to dispel the rumors that Soto intends to be a free agent. Is it possible that Soto will love being part of the most decorated franchise in sports? Absolutely. Could he love being on the biggest stage after spending his career in Washington and San Diego? Sure. Could being on the Yankees provide the perfect cover that he's incapable of growing a mustache? Who can say! Maybe Soto falls in love with the Yankees and signs an extension before becoming a free agent, but it's far from a sure thing, and it would have been even less so if he got traded to the Mets.
The Mets have recent experience with renter's remorse, having shipped first-round pick Pete Crow-Armstrong to the Cubs in exchange for 47 tumultuous games of the Javy Baez Experience. Crow-Armstrong is now the top-ranked prospect in Chicago, and after a cup of coffee at the big league level in September, he's ready to make a real impact in 2024.
If the Yankees aren't able to extend Soto, I feel confident that the Mets will make a play for him in 2024. All that will cost is money, something Steve Cohen has quite a bit of. Giving up prospects for a player that could bolt after this year, however, isn't the smart play. Not for this franchise, not right now.
I believe that David Stearns is going to run this team well. Sometimes it's the moves you don't make.