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Brian Cashman speaks out on Yankees’ level of interest in Juan Soto ahead of MLB trade deadline

Yankees, Padres, Brian Cashman, Juan Soto

When it was revealed last month that Juan Soto turned down a 14-year, $440 million extension offer from the Washington Nationals, rumors began to circulate about his possible next landing spot in the majors. Among the teams that reportedly showed an early interest in Soto were the New York Yankees.

The Yankees reportedly “checked in” on the possibility of acquiring Soto ahead of the MLB trade deadline. While the Yankees boasted multiple other positional needs, they had an eye on completing a trade for Soto. In the end, the San Diego Padres won the sweepstakes for the two-time All-Star, as they parted ways with six players to acquire him.

Speaking to WFAN on Thursday, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman opened up about the interest that he had in orchestrating a blockbuster move for Soto. Overall, he simply viewed that a few teams were far ahead in the race for the coveted outfielder.

“Nothing coming out of the Washington operation suggested that his best match was coming our way,” Cashman said. “I would take that as last year when [Max] Scherzer and [Trea] Turner got dealt to the Dodgers. … Rizzo is a former scouting director and there are things he wants and will gravitate to, and his eyes and heart were set on other locations.

“San Diego or St. Louis were the likeliest spots I think, and we were able to determine we weren’t as much of a match for them as other places. That’s what all the noise was about and there was no surprise when he landed in San Diego.”

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo did not have much of a desire to settle in any deal involving Soto. He noted after the trade was announced that he set a “very high” trade demand in such talks, and the Padres wound up being the only team that “exceeded” it.

The Yankees did at the least complete multiple moves ahead of the trade deadline. For one, they completed a deal with the Oakland Athletics for starting pitcher Frankie Montas, who is slated to make his debut for the current AL East leaders in their three-game road series finale against the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday.

The Yankees still hold the top spot in the American League standings with a 70-36 record.