If the San Diego Padres are indeed looking to lower payroll heading into next season, finding a trade partner for All-Star outfielder Juan Soto would make sense. With that in mind, one MLB insider believes Soto will not only be traded, but also names a pair of teams who could potentially partner with the Friars on a swap.
San Diego Padres rumors: Could these 2 teams be trade partners for Juan Soto?
According to MLB insder Bob Nightengale, the Padres are "leaning" in the direction of a Soto trade. While the timing of it isn't clear, it would make sense that, if San Diego does indeed want to trade the 24-year-old outfielder, it would be this offseason.
Nightengale identifies the San Francisco Giants and the Boston Red Sox as potential fits for Soto, marking yet another connection between San Francisco and San Diego with some of the rumors stirring that manager Bob Melvin may be on the short list to replace Gabe Kapler on the Giants bench.
Interestingly, Nightengale also passes along a bit of discussion he is hearing from those within MLB circles regarding where Soto may be playing in the field in the near future, writing, "scouts predict that he’ll be a first baseman or DH within two years."
Additionally, Nightengale believes that the Padres will not be able to match what they gave away for Soto during the 2022 MLB trade deadline swap with the Washington Nationals. Nightengale predicts San Diego could land, "two top-15 prospects in a team’s farm system."
In 750 at-bats since coming over to the Padres, Soto is slashing .265/.405/.488 with an OPS+ of 151. San Diego has certainly benefitted from having him in the lineup, but if the Padres are indeed going to make a swap, what they get in return could determine the final grade for the entire Juan Soto transaction.