ESPN insider says Padres are among teams ‘most invested’ in Juan Soto trade
By Rylie Smith
The San Diego Padres have reportedly been looking to trade for Washington Nationals slugger Juan Soto. According to ESPN insider Buster Olney, the Padres are one of the “most motivated teams” to land him.
"“The two most, I think, invested teams in this chase might turn out to be the San Diego Padres, who are a win-now team. How much fun would Tatís and Soto and Machado be in their lineup? And the Toronto Blue Jays, who desperately need a left-handed hitter in the middle of that very right-handed lineup.” -Buster Olney, via ESPN’s Get Up Podcast"
San Diego desperately needs more power in the lineup, and Soto would be the perfect solution. However, the Nationals will drive a hard bargain and he will likely be tricky for any team to acquire.
The Padres won’t have an easy time trying to acquire Juan Soto
The Nationals recently offered Soto a 15-year $440 million extension, which would have been the largest in MLB history. Soto turned it down, likely hoping to explore free agency once he’s eligible in 2025. According to Ken Rosenthal with The Athletic (subscription required), the Nationals will entertain trade offers.
Considering the huge extension offer, the Nationals know Soto’s worth and likely won’t trade him easily. It would take a trade package loaded with talent.
Including a few good pitchers in the package could be enticing to the Nationals, considering they are one of the worst teams in terms of pitchers.
Among MLB, the Nationals have the second-worst ERA (5.13), WHIP (1.46) and third-worst batting average against (.267).
The Padres, on the other hand, are one of the best teams in terms of pitching. They have the 10th-best ERA (3.77), sixth-best WHIP (1.20) and fourth-best BAA (.228).
It would likely take a number of prospects from the farm as well. OF Robert Hassell III, C Luis Campusano, and OF James Wood were all recently ranked in MLB Pipeline’s Top 100. Some or all of them would likely need to be included.
Though it wouldn’t be easy, the Padres could potentially make it work without trading away their best players. Several people would be thrilled to see Soto join the team, including some players in San Diego.