Last season, the San Diego Padres made the decision to trade a slew of their top prospects to the Washington Nationals in a deal to land them one of, if not the most valuable asset in the game in Juan Soto. This isn't to say Soto was the best player in the game (despite certainly being one of them), but a player as good as Soto is with 2.5 years of control being available is practically unheard of.
The Padres outfielder hasn't quite reached the levels he was at with Washington when he was possibly the best pure hitter in the game, but he's still been a star, and with everything going on with the Padres they'll have a decision to make regarding his future.
Soto will be entering the final year of his deal, so the Friars have three options. They can trade him to ensure they get something back for him, they can extend him on a massive deal, or they can simply play out the year and see what happens. There're arguments for either trading him or keeping him.
The San Diego Padres should trade Juan Soto so they can add depth to a depleted lineup
The Padres are not nine games under .500 and 6.5 games back of a playoff spot because of Juan Soto. in fact, since he finished a lackluster April, he's been their best hitter. They've struggled because they lack depth around their stars.
The Padres have an absurd top of their order featuring breakout star Ha-Seong Kim, Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado, and Xander Bogaerts. That's as good of a top five in any lineup in baseball. The problem is, the other half of their order is filled with average to below average talent.
The Padres have a strong rotation and decent bullpen, but the lineup is extremely top-heavy. Removing Soto from it obviously hurts, but what if the Padres used the money Soto would make to acquire two or three bats?
The Padres only have so much they can spend, and chances are if they do give Juan Soto the large and expensive contract he desires, there will be very little wiggle room for the Padres to add enough to get back to where they want to be.