The San Diego Padres can easily afford the price tag for outfielder Juan Soto who the Washington Nationals may trade. The Padres are blessed with young talent and several relevant prospects. But can the two sides come to an agreement?
In recent weeks, the Washington Nationals have changed their stance regarding potentially trading Juan Soto.
After shooting down most rumors of a trade, recent news indicates the Nationals are listening to offers with serious intent on dealing their young outfielder. The Nationals reportedly offered a 15-year deal to Soto in the neighborhood of $440 million. He rejected the offer, and Washington will now explore moving him in the next few weeks before the August 2 MLB trade deadline.
There is no doubt the San Diego Padres are interested in Soto. A.J. Preller saught the Dominican outfielder when he was an international free agent. The Padres missed out on the opportunity to sign Soto, but there may be a chance the team can acquire the young slugger now.
What would it cost San Diego to acquire one of the best young players in the game of baseball?
The price tag would surely start with names like MacKenzie Gore and C.J. Abrams. The Padres would be lucky to keep either play in a mega-del with the Nationals. Both are likely in discussions. Washington will also require young talent like Robert Hassell, Luis Campusano, and Ryan Weathers. The Nationals will surely desire players who are major league ready or close to it. Of the five mentioned above, only Hassell is a year or so away from major league service time, though you could make an argument that the left-handed hitting outfielder is ready now.
A package of Abrams, Gore, Hassell, Campusano, and Weathers is massive, but you get a sense that Washington will require more to deal its young superstar. This is where things get complicated. The Nationals would love to get out of the contract of two pitchers. Stephen Strasburg ($158 million and 4-plus years) and Patrick Corbin ($70-plus million for 3-plus years) are crippling the financials of the team.
The Padres taking on this kind of salary seems far-fetched at this point. Instead, the Padres will need to sweeten the deal with more players headed to Washington. The Padres have plenty of young lottery ticket-type players. Jarlin Susana throws triple-digits, and Samual Zavala is blessed with Soto-like skills on the baseball field. They both make sense. As does James Wood, the mammoth outfielder with ridiculous power from the left side of the plate.
The Padres could easily pay the price tag and essentially use nobody of current value from their 40-man roster.
Is Juan Soto a good fit?
The obvious answer is yes. He is the left-handed hitter the Padres desperately need to bat in between Macahdo and Tatis. To have this trio for another 6-plus years would immediately give the Padres a potent offense. Arguably one of the best in the game.
Juan Soto likes the Padres and seems very interested in playing in San Diego. He spoke to Darnay Tripp on Monday in LA in preparing for the MLB All-Star game.
Juan Soto on the Padres:
“Those guys they are pretty nice. They have really good talent. Really big fan of Tatis – how he plays the game – and Machado, and all those guys.”
Ya know, FWIW…
— Darnay Tripp (@DarnayTripp) July 18, 2022
There is a desire from the 23-year-old outfield to become a Padre, but who doesn’t want to play for the franchise as it is an exciting time in San Diego. The Padres could pay the prospect haul, but would it be a wise decision in the long run for this team? Only time will tell.
Buster Olney of ESPN indicates that the Padres are the front-runner. A.J. Preller is not shy about trading, and the two sides are surely in discussions.
— Matt Skraby (@MattSkraby) July 18, 2022
The Padres could shock the world in the coming days and weeks. It feels like the team is willing to make a major move. The 2022 Padres are playing well in spurts. Fernando Tatis Jr. is a few weeks from returning, and there is depth in the pitching staff to be relevant come playoff time.
Preller and his staff will make moves. The only question is, how big will they be?
Some argue the Padres prospects are presently at the pinnacle of their value. Abrams, Campusano, and Gore will never have more uncertain value than now. These men could become hall-of-fame players, or they could be out of the game in a matter of years. That is just how brutal the game of baseball is to young players.
Preller and the Padres have a chance to add a top-10 player in the game without crippling the 40-man roster. You get a sense that these two sides will come to an agreement. If Juan Soto is dealt before the August 2 deadline, the Padres will have a say in where he goes. No other team can pay the unique price tag like San Diego.