The San Diego Padres find themselves in a difficult position, as they attempt to compete in 2024 but might have to do so without Juan Soto.
Because of all of the long-term contracts the Padres have hamstrung themselves with, the chances of them being able to afford an extension for their best position player are certainly slim. With that in mind, trading Juan Soto to ensure the Friars get something for him while also achieving their goal of shedding payroll is the likely outcome.
Soto has long been rumored to be a prime Yankees target, but this new update from Jon Heyman of the NY Post opens the possibility for a slew of other teams to swoop in and snag the Padres star. The price of two top-100 prospects might seem like a lot for a rental, but for a player of Soto's caliber, it's quite affordable. These teams should be doing whatever they can to try and steal Soto away from the Bronx Bombers.
New York Mets
If Soto isn't going to the Yankees, what about the other New York team? All of a sudden, the Mets are loaded with prospect capital that they can trade after selling at this year's trade deadline.
New York has five top-100 prospects according to MLB Pipeline including Luisangel Acuna (38), Drew Gilbert (52), Jett Williams (78), Ronny Mauricio (87), and Kevin Parada (89). Any combination of these prospects feels like a good amount to offer for Soto, but it's probably unlikely the Mets get it done.
These prospects all have bright futures, but are also all position players. Even without Soto, the Padres could have one of the best offenses in baseball led by the core players they still have. Their pitching, however, is a bit of a mess following the likely departures of Blake Snell, Michael Wacha, Nick Martinez, and Josh Hader. One thing that made the Yankees such an enticing destination was their pitching prospects.
The Mets have a glaring need in left field which Soto could fill perfectly. He'd slide right into the middle of the order and take New York by storm as he always has as a visiting player. New York would also love their chances when it comes to re-signing Soto, armed with the richest owner in the sport and the desperation to field a contender.