Friday, May 24, 2024

NASHVILLE, Tenn.

— Was it really only 16 months ago? How can it be possible that Juan Soto’s entire tenure as a San Diego Padre went by so fast it fit in between seasons of “Curb Your Enthusiasm”? But that’s the deal on The Deal — and not just any deal. When Soto went from the Washington Nationals to San Diego, I wrote that it was “the biggest deal in trade deadline history.” But that’s a wrap on Soto’s frustrating time as a Padre. He’s a New York Yankee now.

So let’s do this. Sixteen months ago, I wrote a Soto by the Numbers column to help explain the monstrous size of that original trade to San Diego. Now that he’s dialing Allied Van Lines yet again, let’s run it back, to explain what the Yankees are (and aren’t) getting, with this edition of Soto by the Numbers 2.0.

The good Juan Soto has piled up the stats and accolades, including four Silver Slugger awards, three All-Star nods and a batting title, in his young career. He turned 25 in October. (Darren Yamashita / USA Today)

The magic number — 24

As I did in my last Soto column, I’m starting with the number that makes all the other numbers so mind-rattling — his age at the end of last season: 24. Think about that. Since the 2000 season, we’ve had nine players win a Rookie of the Year award at an age older than Soto’s age as of the 2023 season. Nine. This guy is already on the road to Cooperstown. Those guys — nine of them — were just getting started on their baseball journey. So what’s the big deal about Juan Soto? He’s so freaking young — still. And he has now been traded for 11 players just in the past 16 months.

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