2 Padres rookies who could be on the move in potential Juan Soto trade

San Diego Padres pitcher MacKenzie Gore during spring training workouts at the San Diego Padres Spring Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
San Diego Padres pitcher MacKenzie Gore during spring training workouts at the San Diego Padres Spring Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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What might it take for the Padres to trade for Juan Soto at the MLB Trade Deadline?

The San Diego Padres are reportedly one of the most invested teams in acquiring Washington Nationals star Juan Soto. ESPN’s Buster Olney even calls them the front-runner.

However, with the Nationals looking for some club controlled MLB-ready players along with prospects it will cost a lot to land him.

We’ve already looked at some of the Padres’ top prospects who could be moved, so here are two players who graduated to the majors this year who may be of particular interest to the Nationals.

Padres rookie pitcher MacKenzie Gore

Rookie MacKenzie Gore showed a lot of potential in a successful start to his MLB career. He made his MLB debut earlier this season and was seeming like a potential NL Rookie of the Year candidate.

His performance over June and July, unfortunately, went downhill. This season, he has an earned-run average of 4.33, BAA of .249 and WHIP of 1.46. However, over 26.2 total innings in May, he had much better numbers. He had an ERA of 1.69, BAA of .204 and WHIP of 1.01.

Gore’s recent injury could play a factor though. Gore was placed on the injured list on Tuesday with elbow inflammation, but manager Bob Melvin believes it’s a good sign that Gore was feeling better the next day.

The Nationals aren’t stacked with good pitchers. They’re one of the worst teams in MLB. They have the second-worst ERA (5.13), hits produced (922), on-base average (.268) and WHIP (1.46). They’ve produced the most home runs against them (144) and have produced the third-most walks against them (362).

Though Gore may not be playing his best right now, the Nationals need pitchers with potential and Gore is likely one of the best rookies that could be offered.

In just his first year, Gore would offer the Nationals plenty of club control. He was No. 85 overall in MLB Pipeline’s top 100 prospect rankings.

Padres rookie shortstop C.J. Abrams

Padres rookie shortstop C.J. Abrams didn’t start this season well, but he quickly proved he deserves to be in MLB.

He made his MLB debut in April and was hitting .146/.255/.244. In July, he’s done significantly better and is hitting .300/.313/.433.

Abrams stepped up when Ha-Seong Kim was out and filled in well. He was in a highly important position because Kim is filling in for Tatis. He played the field well, hit extremely well and gained manager Bob Melvin’s approval.

Abrams is also feeling more confident in MLB. In July, he told MLB.com, “I’m definitely getting a little more comfortable at the plate. I’m taking my time, seeing more pitches and driving the ball.”

He’s showing major improvements quickly and could easily be headed toward a breakout. His potential shows he could become a huge asset to any team.

Like Gore, this is Abrams’ first taste of MLB action, so he would also offer plenty of club control to the Nationals.

Abrams was ranked the No. 9 prospect overall by MLB.com.