San Diego Padres could trade Juan Soto at the MLB trade deadline
Juan Soto has one year remaining on his contract for 2024 and would be a key piece to the Padres. However, if Preller decides to trade the outfielder, the return should be at least one impact player for the 2024 season.
Soto was San Diego's representative in the field at the All-Star Game in Seattle earlier this month and he has been good since the break. For the season, the left-handed power hitter is slashing .262/.416/.501 with 20 home runs and 61 RBI.
Why would the Padres trade Soto just one year after acquiring him from the Washington Nationals? At 24 years old, he's going to be looking for a monster contract following 2024 and San Diego might not want to invest all that money into him after signing Manny Machado and Xander Bogaerts to big deals. Trading him now instead of holding onto him until this time next summer will limit the return. Like Hader and Snell, sell high when you can.
Trading him would also be tough after the haul that was sent back to the Nationals last summer, but they were in a win-now mode and fell short against Philadelphia. They are again in a win-now mode and will fall even shorter than last season and miss the playoffs.
There are no easy decisions this time of the year, but Hader, Snell, and Soto are three names that get some big returns for the Padres' future. It's hard for them to say it didn't work in 2023 and none of them may be moved, but at least getting something for one or two might be the way Preller goes.