Sure, all of the tea leaves are indicating that the New York Yankees may be the ideal trade partners for the San Diego Padres if a Juan Soto trade is indeed imminent. However, it seems another American League team may be right in the middle of things should a Yankees deal fall through.
San Diego Padres rumors: Could Toronto Blue Jays win the Juan Soto sweepstakes?
According to multiple reports, the Padres and Yankees are "far apart" when it comes to what the Yankees would be required to surrender to land the 25-year-old Soto in a swap. Meanwhile, Toronto general manager Ross Atkins has made it clear that his team has "no aversion" to rental players like Soto, who has one year of team control left before becoming a free agent.
A recent MLB.com trade proposal that would send Soto north of the border went like this... "Blue Jays get: OF Juan Soto, 3B Eguy Rosario. Padres get: C Danny Jansen, SS/3B Orelvis Martinez (MLB Pipeline's No. 88 overall prospect), LHP Brandon Barriera (Blue Jays’ No. 4 prospect), OF Alan Roden (Blue Jays’ No. 7 prospect)."
Of course, there have been plenty of rumors swirling around the Blue Jays this offseason as well, with names like Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. being floated around as potential trade candidates. However, Atkins has shot down those rumors, and it appears that Toronto is ready to build around its core rather than tear down and rebuild.
Additionally, there are rumors out there that the Blue Jays are in hot pursuit of Shohei Ohtani. Could Toronto pursue Ohtani but have a trade with Soto as its big Plan B for the offseason should they not be able to land the Japanese superstar?
If the Padres could land a catcher with MLB experience to pair with Luis Campusano in 2024, as well as prospects who could contribute in the near future, it would take some of the sting away from losing Soto.
I will be at the MLB Winter Meetings starting tomorrow in Nashville, so look for the latest Padres coverage straight from Music City here.