San Diego Padres rumors: Is this what a Juan Soto trade with the Seattle Mariners looks like?

If the San Diego Padres are indeed going to trade Juan Soto this offseason, could this be a return on the deal with the Seattle Mariners?
San Diego Padres left fielder Juan Soto
San Diego Padres left fielder Juan Soto / Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

As expected, the rumors about a potential Juan Soto offseason trade from the San Diego Padres just keep swirling, and Padres fans should not expect them to stop until either a trade happens or spring training begins.

The latest round of rumors came via an article from former general manager Jim Bowden in The Athletic on Tuesday. In the article (subscription required), Bowden lists five teams that could be trade partners with the Padres this offseason in an effort to land Soto's services — the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants and Cleveland Guardians.

Of the five teams listed, the Mariners swap is indeed interesting. Knowing the love that Seattle president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto has for making deals, a San Diego-Seattle trade makes sense on a number of levels.

With that in mind, Bowden pieced together what he believes could be a deal that would benefit both teams.

What a Seattle Mariners-San Diego Padres trade for Juan Soto could look like

Bowden writes, "The Mariners are blessed with enough starting pitching to offer (Bryce) Miller and one of their top five prospects, either outfielder Gabriel Gonzalez or catcher Harry Ford, in a two-for-one deal for Soto."

Ford is 20 years old and ranked as Seattle's second overall prospect, projected to make his MLB debut in 2025. He and the 19-year-old Gonzalez were both brought into the Mariners system in 2021 and both are expected to take some addiitonal time before being MLB-ready.

Miller, meanwhile, was 8-7 in 25 starts for Seattle last season, logging a 4.32 ERA/3.98 FIP/1.142 WHIP in 131.1 innings. The 25-year-old right-hander was also brought into the system in 2021, coming to Seattle as a fourth-round draft pick.

If the Padres trade Soto, would a package like this be enough in return, especially considering what San Diego sent to the Washington Nationals to get him and Josh Bell at the 2022 MLB trade deadline? While the Padres are unlikely to get a full return on their Nationals investment, will restocking the farm system be enough? We may soon find out.