The San Diego Padres have been eyeing Washington Nationals slugger Juan Soto for the trade deadline. According to several MLB experts, Soto will be a heavy investment.
Jim Bowden of The Athletic (subscription required) predicts that the Nationals will attempt to raise their offer to $500 million before letting him go.
Bowden wrote, “My prediction: On Aug. 2, Soto will either be the first half-a-billion-dollar player in baseball history or will be wearing a different uniform.”
He also believes the Padres could figure out how to make such a large asking price work in their payroll.
"”Although they probably can’t add a $500 million commitment to their payroll, they certainly could find a way to make Soto’s salary work for the next three pennant races, which aligns with their window to win a world championship. The Nationals would love a package that included left-hander MacKenzie Gore, one of the Padres’ top outfield prospects (James Wood or Robert Hassell III), infielder C.J. Abrams and another pitching prospect such as Victor Lizarraga or Kevin Kopps.” -Jim Bowden, via The Athletic"
Bowden adds that the Nationals would like to unload pitcher Patrick Corbin’s contract. It pays him $23 million in 2022, $25 in 2023, and $35 in 2024 ($10 of which is deferred) for about $72 remaining (per Cot’s Contracts). Corbin has a 5.87 ERA this year.
The Padres are, reportedly, one of few teams that can offer a trade package big enough for the Nationals to trade Soto. If they can figure out the financial side of it.
The Padres could potentially create a big enough trade package for Soto
FanSided insider Robert Murray implied the Nationals are taking their time in trading Soto away, which is unsurprising considering the number of offers they may have to consider.
Murray also stated that the trade package will have to include prospects that only a few teams can offer.
"“It will require a package of prospects, unlike anything the game has ever seen – think Herschel Walker-type trade level big – that only a few teams (Mets, Yankees, Padres, Cardinals, perhaps others) can offer.” -Robert Murray, via FanSided"
Soto is expected to be worth tens of millions of dollars over the next two seasons. According to Zach Crizer of Yahoo Sports, “He’s making $17.1 million through arbitration in 2022, and that number will escalate as he continues racking up stellar seasons, to the point where he could make $40 million to $50 million total in his remaining two years under team control.”