The New York Yankees, like just about every other team, want Juan Soto. After Soto rejected the Nationals’ contract extension offer, it’s widely believed that Washington will trade him at the deadline. Due to the abysmal play of Joey Gallo, New York does have a need for the 23-year-old outfielder. While the team is surely putting together potential trade packages, it should make sure a few players are completely off the table.

As expected for one of the league’s top hitters, acquiring Soto would be nothing short of a king’s ransom. According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the asking price is likely something along the lines of a team’s top four prospects, young major leaguers and a willingness to take Patrick Corbin’s contract. Proposed trades from analysts typically include starting pitcher Nestor Cortes Jr., second baseman Gleyber Torres, and prospects Anthony Volpe and Jasson Dominguez.

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Players The Yankees Should Leave Out of Soto Trade

Oswald Peraza

If the Yankees part with Volpe and Dominguez, they should try to hold onto Peraza. New York sees the 22-year-old as the shortstop of the future, with current starter Isiah Kiner-Falefa being inconsistent at best at the position. Currently playing AAA ball, Peraza is batting .248 with an OBP of .318 and 12 homers through 69 games. Because the position has been such a weak spot, fans have wanted the team to at least bring him up and give him a shot.

Kiner-Filefa’s batting numbers have been decent this year, but the fielding has left a lot to be desired. In 87 games, the 27-year-old has committed 11 errors, putting him second in the league among shortstops. Peraza, on the other hand, has committed just five through 64 games in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. His fielding percentage of 97.8% is above the MLB-wide percentage of 96.8%, and he has 20 stolen bases.

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Ken Waldichuk

The starting left-handed pitcher could eventually be added to the Yankees loaded rotation if Cortes is dealt. Cortes earned his first All-Star honor in 2022, and at 27, is an alluring asset in any potential trade. Should that happen, Waldichuk has adjusted well in AAA. As is the case with Peraza, Waldichuk is a prospect New York simply has to hold onto considering it would already be giving up so much.

In nine starts with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Waldichuk has a 3.27 ERA with 60 strikeouts and 19 walks in 41.1 innings. The 6-foot-4 lefty mostly throws his fastball, which hovers in the mid-90s, and his mid-80s slider with an insane amount of run. He also has a curveball that’s more of a work in progress and a changeup that he uses about 20% of the time against righties.

Michael King

The right-handed reliever hasn’t really been mentioned in potential trade packages, and it should stay that way. Due to a combination of injuries and 2022 slumps, the Yankees have lost a few good arms in the bullpen this season. Despite this, King and Clay Holmes have been consistently great in high-leverage spots. At this point in the season, the Yankees can’t afford to part with a stud like King.

In 50 innings this season, King has struck out 66 while allowing just 13 earned runs and three homers. He boasts an ERA+ of 163 and WHIP of 1.02. King has also set career bests in strikeouts per nine innings (11.9) walks per nine (2.9) and fielding independent pitching (2.21).

Washington’s willingness to trade Soto is still just speculation at this point. While the Yankees have every reason to be interested, they should be wary in giving the Nationals far too much. New York’s farm system is deep, but it should stay that way to address the team’s needs about of left field.