Yankees’ Juan Soto a franchise-boosting ‘centurion’: Scott Boras

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Juan Soto needs little help promoting himself ahead of looming free agency: His top-tier talent speaks for itself.

But his agent, Scott Boras, added a new line to Soto’s biography: “Centurion,” meaning one of the top 100 players in baseball history.

“Any team, a Centurion player is not considered a cost to the team because it adds value to the franchise,” Boras told reporters in his room at Angel Stadium on Tuesday before the Yankees’ 4-3 loss. “So no matter what the franchise is worth, if you have a Centurion player on your team, it adds billions of dollars to the value of your team.”

Juan Soto circled the bases after hitting a solo home run in the Yankees’ 4-3 loss to the Angels. EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Boras’ comments came after Hal Steinbrenner said last week that the Yankees’ total payroll this season, currently about $313 million before the luxury tax, is “simply unsustainable.” The Yankees plan to cut about $40 million in salaries for free agent prospects next season, and Soto is currently making $31 million in his final year of arbitration. Soto made his appeal even more on Tuesday, hitting a solo home run in the first inning for his 15th home run of the season. Soto was 2-for-5 with 2 RBIs.

Still, Steinbrenner said he wanted to begin contract negotiations with Soto and Boras during the season, even though it remains likely that Soto will become a free agent and the then-26-year-old outfielder will be expected to sign a contract worth more than $500 million.

“Typically, a Centurion-level player adds literally millions of dollars to the value of a franchise,” Boras said. “That kind of investment opportunity doesn’t come along very often in an owner’s career.”

“When you represent a centurion, you don’t have to worry about the cost they have to the franchise, because they add value to the team. The only cost to worry about is the cost of erecting a monument.”

Boras said he and Steinbrenner “talk all the time” and have a “really good relationship.”

After Steinbrenner commented earlier this month that he wanted to negotiate with Soto and Boras, the Yankees star said “the door is always open.”

Scott Boras represents Juan Soto.
Scott Boras represents Juan Soto. Kirby Lee – USA TODAY Sports

“If they want to call Scott and start talking, that’s up to them,” Soto said on May 16. “Scott, they’ve got all his phone numbers, they know where to call him. I’m just focused on playing baseball right now. My job is to help the team win as many games as possible and focus on winning championships. I feel like that’s my mission.” [Steinbrenner] At the end of the day, all I want is to focus on playing baseball and winning games.”

The Nationals and Padres had previously tried to sign Soto to a contract extension but ultimately ended up in a trade.

Soto reiterated on Friday when he returned to San Diego that he’s not closing the door on anything regarding free agency.

“I’m open to negotiating with anybody who wants to discuss a contract,” Soto said, “but that’s in the future. Whether I get there is yet to come, but right now I’m focused on 2024. Right now I’m with the Yankees. My goal is clear: to win a championship.”