Yankees' Gerrit Cole doesn't want Juan Soto to join Red Sox amid trade rumors

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Gerrit Cole doesn't want Juan Soto joining Red Sox amid trade rumors originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Yankees are 16.5 games ahead of the Boston Red Sox at the MLB All-Star break, but ace Gerrit Cole still has New York's archrival on his mind.

Cole was among several All-Stars at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles who were asked Monday about Nationals superstar Juan Soto, who's a potential trade candidate after he reportedly rejected Washington's 15-year, $440 million contract offer.

The Red Sox aren't viewed as legitimate suitors for Soto, but Cole nonetheless admitted he can't stand the thought of the young superstar joining the Red Sox.

MLB Power Rankings: Where Red Sox stand at the All-Star break

"You know where I really don’t want him going -- I don’t want him going up to Boston," Cole said, via the New York Post's Greg Joyce. "But if he’s going to go, I want him to come to us."

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge didn't mention the Red Sox by name but agreed that he'd prefer Soto not join an American League East rival.

"I would hate to see him go to a team that we gotta play down the stretch,” Yankees star Aaron Judge said. “It’d be fun to see him be in New York or be wherever he wants to be."

It makes sense why Cole and the Yankees wouldn't want Soto in a rival uniform. The 23-year-old has already mashed 20 home runs and 43 RBIs this season and is one of the game's brightest stars. But it's interesting that Cole cited the Red Sox as the team he'd hate to see Soto join, rather than the Tampa Bay Rays or Toronto Blue Jays -- who are both ahead of Boston in the AL East -- or the rival Houston Astros.

That might be a reflection of Cole's struggles against Boston this season: The five-time All-Star has allowed 10 runs in three starts against the Red Sox this season (5.29 ERA) while giving up four home runs in those contests.

Cole probably doesn't need worry about facing Soto at Fenway Park, however: The Red Sox don't have the depth in their farm system to put together the massive trade package that Washington likely will command for its young star.

But if there's any consolation for Red Sox fans after their team limped into the All-Star break, it's that Cole still views them as a threat.