MLB insider shares depressing truth about Padres’ Juan Soto extension talks

San Diego was THIS close to locking up Juan Soto for the long term.
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While the San Diego Padres' 2023 season was swirling down the toilet, there was a growing worry that any chance of Juan Soto even wanting to sign an extension was going down as well. By the end of the season, the team was focused on cutting payroll and everyone just assumed that Soto was as good as gone.

However, even as the Padres got off to their rotten start last year, there was apparently real optimism that an extension could have happened in San Diego. According to a recent report, there was a great round of secret initial talks between the Padres and Soto on a possible extension, but those talks were called off once former owner Peter Seidler's health took a turn for the worse.

Padres very nearly kept Juan Soto until Seidler's health failed

In one sense, this story is a reminder of how refreshing Seidler was as an owner, and how clearly the Padres will benefit moving forward if the team continues to embody his vision.

Even when things weren't going the Padres' way last year, he was looking to still make big moves and make big splashes up until the very end. The Padres' model may not have been the best way to run a business under Seidler's ownership, but it was a gift to a fan base that had long hoped to become relevant again.

On the other hand, it feels like Padres fans have been cheated in a way. When Seidler passed away, everyone knew and somewhat understood that changes were coming. However, there were already rumors that San Diego was set to scale back even when Seidler was alive. With these latest revelations, the way events unfolded feels even worse, as it sure sounds like the team would have stayed aggressive this past offseason instead of doing a roster culling if Seidler had remained in command.

Those are the breaks, unfortunately, and it is important to note that nothing was certain in those extension talks, especially with Scott Boras being involved. It is also fair to point out that, despite the cuts in payroll, the Padres are still finding opportunities to stay aggressive, such as the Dylan Cease trade. However, it does make one wonder what might have been if Seidler were still alive and what they could have accomplished last offseason.

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