If (and, yes, it is an if) the San Diego Padres are indeed going to trade Juan Soto this offseason, the New York Yankees are among the destinations that have been mentioned for the 25-year-old slugger. For the Padres to actually send Soto away, however, the franchise will need a deal that will lessen the sting of losing one of their offensive stars.
With that in mind, what would a trade involving the Yankees look like as far as the return the Padres would be receiving for Soto?
Rumors: Who the New York Yankees might send to the San Diego Padres for Juan Soto
In an article for MLB.com where he hands out his eight bold predictions for the offseason, Anthony Castrovince does indeed predict a Soto-to-Yankees move this winter. He also lays down some of the potential Yankee pieces who could be heading to Southern California in the swap.
Certainly the Padres need pitching, and both King and Schmidt have plenty of MLB experience. The 27-year-old Schmidt started 32 games last season for New York, posting a 4.64 ERA/4.42 FIP/1.352 WHIP in 159.0 innings. The 28-year-old King, meanwhile, had more experience in relief (40 games) than starts (nine games), but still combined to throw 104.2 innings with a 2.75 ERA/3.13 FIP/1.146 WHIP.
Of course, it's going to take more than a 1-for-1 swap to land Soto in a deal, and that's where Castrovince dives into some of the Yankees prospects who could be of interest for A.J. Preller as well.
"Alternatively, even if the Padres insist on one of the top Yankees prospects -- Spencer Jones or the rehabbing Jasson Domínguez -- the Yanks would be wise to at least listen, given their glaring need for what Soto provides."
Jones is a 22-year-old outfielder who is ranked as New York's top prospects, reaching Double-A last season while also playing in the Futures Game. In 69 at-bats for Double-A Somerset, he slashed .261/.333/.406. He did strike out 22 times in those 69 at-bats, so there will need to be some additional work done there.
Domínguez is the second-ranked prospect for New York who underwent Tommy John surgery in mid-September, with an estimate of nine to 10 months for his return. The 22-year-old outfielder will likely see action in 2024, but how much remains to be seen.
Certainly there could be some other pieces in the deal as well. However, if the Padres are indeed looking to move Soto and the Yankees can offer a package including some of the names above, it won't be a surprise if Preller at least has some initial conversations.