Juan Soto's underwhelming, albeit brief tenure in a San Diego Padres uniform may not be water under the bridge anymore.
It's no secret that the superstar outfielder, whom the Padres traded six players, including highly regarded young prospects, to the Washington Nationals to acquire last summer, has seen his performance decline since arriving in Southern California.
It's been a struggle for Juan Soto since putting on a San Diego Padres uniform
Just look at these numbers for a clearer depiction of Soto's San Diego woes:
And outsiders aren't the only ones taking notice of Soto's shocking decline. USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports that Padres brass is "quietly worried" about the 24-year-old, believing that he is "badly pressing" at the plate as he adjusts to the mounting expectations that come with playing on this recently-constructed super team.
Soto claims he is settling in, but the stats don't share that same perspective. And if this worrisome trend continues, perhaps the Padres could look to move on from Soto, especially as another big fish looms...
""The Padres plan to be in heavy pursuit for free agent Shohei Ohtani, and if they land him, Soto could be the one traded, realizing they likely wouldn’t be able to meet his contract demands after already rejecting $440 million from the Nationals." "- Bob Nightengale, USA Today
Is it panic time for Juan Soto in San Diego? Probably not, but having a degree of concern is valid at this point given his steep acquisition cost and subsequent disappointment so far. If this troublesome trend continues deep into this season, perhaps then it becomes time to hit the panic button.
For now, Padres fans and executives should be watching Soto with caution, knowing that if the tide doesn't turn soon, San Diego could have quite the unexpected dilemma to contend with. Only time will tell if talent and past performance will prevail.