Padres avoid arbitration with 7 players, including Juan Soto
By Jerry Trotta
The San Diego Padres' 2022 trade deadline was nothing shy of earth-shattering. It will go down as one of the biggest spending sprees in deadline history, and fans are hopeful the front office is able to lock down the centerpieces of the mid-season metamorphosis: Juan Soto and Josh Hader.
Unfortunately, the Padres were't able to retain every acquisition. Josh Bell left in free agency after he stumbled to the regular season finish line.
Brandon Drury, meanwhile, found a new home with the Angels after he slashed .239/.290/.435 with eight home runs in 46 games with the Friars. Drury would've been a serviceable designated hitter option for 2023, but AJ Peller had other ideas by splurging on Xander Bogaerts to give them ample options for the DH spot.
In order for the 2023 deadline to go down as a success, San Diego will either have to win a World Series, or agree to long-term deals with Soto and, or Hader.
In the meantime, however, the Padres agreed to one-year deals with both stars for 2023 to avoid arbitration. This will only help the negotiation process.
Soto's deal is worth a reported, $23 million, per ESPN's Jeff Passan.
Padres, Juan Soto agree to one-year deal to avoid arbitration
While not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, this news means the Padres need not worry about an extended arbitration case with Soto. Those seldom get messy, but they're largely unnecessary and often end in frustration on the player's part since parties are usually fighting over minute dollar amounts.
Soto's $23 million contract represents a $6 million raise from the agreement he reached with Washington before the 2022 campaign.
Of course, if the Padres want to lock the star outfielder down for the long haul, they'll likely have to pay him upwards of $40 million per year after he rejected a 15-year, $440 million extension from the Nationals before the trade deadline.
In addition to Soto, San Diego and Josh Hader settled at $14.1 million for 2023 to avoid arbitration. It's the biggest salary for a reliever in arbitration history, per FanSided's Robert Murray. A fitting narrative given Hader was flawless in October and didn't allow an earned run in his final 10 appearances for the club in the regular season.
The Padres avoided arbitration with the following players:
- Jake Cronenworth: $4.225 million
- Trent Grisham: $3.175 million
- Austin Nola: $2.35 million
- Tim Hill: $1.85 million
- Adrian Morejon: $800,000
And thus, Preller continues his streak of avoiding arbitration disputes. It's the proper way to go about business. As we noted earlier, it keeps a strong relationship ebtween the organization and player, and that will only help San Diego's positioning when the time comes to negotiate an extension with Soto and Hader.