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Juan Soto is with the Yankees for at least this season, and fans would love if he re-signed in free agency next winter.

The feeling could very well be mutual. Soto gave a press conference at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa on Monday and was practically poetic in describing playing in New York.

Soto otherwise pushed all the right buttons and said all the right things. The Yankees are prepared to go out and win a World Series (Like every year). He recalled respecting the Yankees and their championship history in his youth (Like so many others). His favorite player, as fate would have it, is former Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano (Fair, prime Robbie was awesome).

But listen to what Soto said again. Specifically, his first six words:

“It’s going to feel like home.”

Juan Soto has played seven games at Yankee Stadium with both the Nationals and Padres. He’s done well in that small Bronx sample, batting .261 with four home runs and a 1.219 OPS. He’s yet to even put on the pinstripes, and the Bronx is somehow already “home”?

We all know it’s going to happen barring a devastating injury (Baseball gods forbid; Now go grab the first three baseball cards you can find and shout “There’s no crying in baseball!”). Juan Soto is in for a potentially legendary season in 2024.

He’s just that great and worth a potentially $500 million contract. Juan Soto has a batting title and has led MLB in walks three times, with new teammate Marcus Stroman calling his eye “unheard of.”

Now, picture the 25-year-old’s smooth lefty swing with Yankee Stadium’s short porch. And as captain Aaron Judge’s main protection in the lineup. Forget the numbers he may or may not put up this year. The Yankees wouldn’t have traded for Juan Soto if general manager Brian Cashman didn’t also want to re-sign him in the offseason.

In fact, Cash seems to be preparing that offer already. Second baseman and fan favorite Gleyber Torres is also a pending free agent and turned in a solid 2023. However, there have been no talks of a contract extension.

And as a sneaky gutshot, Cashman was curt in his assessment of Torres’ future with the team.

“He’s our second baseman for this year,” Cashman said. “Haven’t had any conversations about anything past that.”

Translation: “Re-signing Gleyber Torres is not currently a priority.”

Keep in mind that this could change at the drop of a hat. If Torres maintains his production from last year (.273, 25 home runs and 123 wRC+) and Oswald Peraza stumbles, it’s a different story.

But right now? The Yankees have one job next offseason: Pay Juan Soto his money.

Do not worry about a crowded outfield. Soto can shift back to left field next season with Jasson Dominguez in center and Judge back in right. Everson Pereira can and should be turned into pitching if a new Soto deal is in the cards.

Moreover, the infield will take care of itself with or without Peraza and/or Torres. Cashman always finds a way.

The reality, though, is Juan Soto is too good to treat as a mere rental. It really sounds like he wants to stay a Yankee and hasn’t yet had his first Opening Day.

He was the Yankees’ to lose this past offseason. As of now, expect the same next winter.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.