The rumor mill in churning, and it's running on quite a bit of talk about Juan Soto, and where the San Diego Padres will send him ahead of the 2024 season. Despite not being the only major trade chip available this year, any deal involving Soto is bound to be shocking, and will have immediate consequences, positive or negative, for any teams involved.
Outside of Soto, though, the Padres have been relatively quiet even though they still have a lot of work to do. They lost two starting pitchers in free agency, one of whom just won his second Cy Young — who are they interested in getting to replace him? If Soto is traded, where will he go and how much can the Padres expect in return? With bench coach Ryan Flaherty Chicago-bound, what does that say about the state of the Padres front office? Here are three rumors to keep an eye on, especially with Winter Meetings just around the corner.
Padres Rumors: Juan Soto trade talks continue with the Yankees
Of the major trade pieces whose names have been in the ring this offseason, Juan Soto is the biggest. The possibility of a Soto trade has been floating throughout the league since well before the offseason, with the Yankees emerging as front runners early on. It seems that they're staying that way, as SNY's Andy Martino reported that the Yankees have preliminarily offered names who could go to San Diego in exchange for Soto. The list, which includes New York's brightest young stars Anthony Volpe and Jasson Dominguez and No. 5 prospect Drew Thorpe, appropriately horrified Yankees fans, but makes some sense when the player who could be coming over is the best left-handed batter in baseball.
The Mets and Giants are also reported to have joined the Soto conversation, but are understandably less far along than the Yankees, who have reportedly been in talks with the Padres for months. Despite some equivocation from Jon Heyman on whether or not Soto would be traded earlier this month, there now seems to be a consensus on it only a matter of time before his departure from San Diego. With Winter Meetings just days away, there's a distinct possibility that this timeline could speed up significantly.