Padres GM A.J. Preller talks about the Juan Soto deal
The San Diego Padres made several big trades at the deadline, including Washington Nationals star Juan Soto and first baseman Josh Bell. According to Padres general manager A.J. Preller, the scouting team was one of the most impactful parts in the Soto and Bell deal.
Preller said in a press conference there were “a lot of back and forths” and they “got to the Bell inclusion at the end.” He also said the credit over the past 48 hours goes to the scouting development group for the ability to “constantly have players that other teams covet and want.”
Preller later said Soto is “arguably the best hitter in baseball,” and he should be a big help for the team.
Preller utilized several top prospects to create a trade package so significant that it “exceeded” the Nationals ask, according to Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo.
"“We had to get the right deal or we weren’t going to do the deal. We set the bar very, very high, and one team exceeded it. And that’s the deal we made.” -Mike Rizzo, via the Washington Post"
Preller has built the Padres up significantly since joining the franchise in 2014, and landing Soto is one of the biggest accomplishments to show for his work. He’s seemingly after postseason success, which has yet to be achieved under his management. They’ve only made one playoff appearance under Preller and have never won a postseason game.
Soto will help the inconsistent lineup and likely help produce a successful season like no other.
Padres Juan Soto deal will help the lineup significantly
The Padres FanGraphs playoff odds increased from 84.8 percent on Tuesday morning to 95.9 percent on Wednesday. The trade alone helped the team’s likelihood of the playoffs.
Soto was the most notable trade of the entire league. He was a target for most teams after turning down a 15-year $440 million extension from the Nationals. The Nationals drove a hard bargain to acquire their star, and the Padres managed to present the best offer.
San Diego needed power in the lineup, and Soto will undoubtedly bring some. Manny Machado has been the main source of power while Fernando Tatis Jr. has been out with a wrist injury. Beyond Machado, the lineup didn’t have much potential. With Soto, they’ll be one to fear.
Tatis shared his excitement about Soto joining him in San Diego as well. Tatis told Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribue, “I feel like we’re going to put up a show. It’s going to be really fun to watch.”