Padres must extend Juan Soto after slugger’s latest message for fans

Jerry Trotta
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 21: Juan Soto #22 of the San Diego Padres hits a single during the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies in game three of the National League Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 21, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 21: Juan Soto #22 of the San Diego Padres hits a single during the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies in game three of the National League Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 21, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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The San Diego Padres’ playoff run didn’t end how fans had hoped, but the team’s unexpected appearance in the NLCS offered a glimpse into what they can accomplish with a fully-focused Fernando Tatis Jr. The idea of pairing Tatis with Juan Soto long-term would give the Padres the best duo of young superstars in MLB.

It’s a shame to think San Diego’s season ended when it did, as Soto was just starting to find a groove at the plate. In Games 3-5, the two-time All-Star went 3-for-10 with three RBI and home runs in the final two fixtures.

You can’t help but wonder if Soto was on the verge of catching fire. If you remember, Soto went scorched earth during the Nationals’ unlikely World Series run in 2019. That postseason, Soto hit .277/. 371/.554 with five home runs (two in the World Series vs the Astros), 14 RBI, three doubles and 12 runs scored.

Soto didn’t quite live up to that in the 2022 playoffs, but Padres fans certainly saw glimpses of his potential to deliver on the big stage.

Forced to watch this year’s Fall Classic from afar, the generational talent had an awesome message for Padres fans on is Instagram this weekend.

Juan Soto wants to win multiple World Series’ with the Padres.

The Padres presumably didn’t (further) gut their farm system to rent Soto for two seasons before letting him walk in free agency.

Leading up to the deadline, Soto turned down a 15-year contract worth a reported $440 million from the Nationals. He hasn’t commented on a potential long-term deal with San Diego, but he’s on the record endorsing the team’s foundation and this Instagram post is further proof he’s settling in just fine to his new home.

General manager A.J. Preller understands the urgency to get Soto locked up, but the executive also doesn’t want to overwhelm the player, who only touched down in San Diego less than three months ago before the Aug. 2 trade deadline.

"“We’ll have that conversation,” Preller said of Soto’s contract. “From Juan’s standpoint, he’s getting to know the city and getting to know the organization. When we made the deal, we made it knowing that we’d have him for three pennant races but also understanding that … he’s an incredibly talented player, an impact player, and we’ll have those conversations here. This offseason is kind of taking the temperature.”"

Soto might just be giving fans what they want to hear, but the Padres’ organization simply cannot let him walk after he tugged on fans’ heartstrings with this post. Winning a “couple” championships before Soto hits free agency means San Diego would have to rip back-to-back titles in 2023 and ’24 and the Yankees are the last team to do that when they won three in a row spanning 1998-2000.

Extending Soto would alleviate some of that pressure. Get it done!

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