MLB Rumors: Cardinals OF suitor, Juan Soto latest, Yamamoto's price tag increase

  • Yoshinobu Yamamoto could sign for a lot of money in free agency
  • Two teams are being held up in Juan Soto trade pursuit
  • One St. Louis Cardinals outfielder is on the trade block

Aug 4, 2021; Yokohama, Japan; Team Japan pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto (17) reacts against Korea in a
Aug 4, 2021; Yokohama, Japan; Team Japan pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto (17) reacts against Korea in a / Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports
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Shohei Ohtani's free agency holding up Juan Soto trade

The San Diego Padres are usually in the news during Hot Stove season for pursuring star players to help them win their first World Series title. This year, all eyes are on the Padres to see whether or not they will trade star outfielder Juan Soto. Reports circulated throughout the offseason that the Padres were open to trading Soto, who is set to become a free agent after next season, and he could command a $500 million contract. So, this is the last chance the team has to trade him if they don't decide to keep him to go for a World Series title win.

Two teams have been linked to a Soto trade this winter, and they are the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays. There is now an update about when a trade could take place.

According to the New York Post's Jon Heyman, five teams have made offers to the Padres for Soto. There could be a holdup, writes Heyman, due in part to two teams being interested in signing Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani who he believes to be the Blue Jays and San Francisco Giants.

While it may have taken a while for the Padres to decide to trade Soto, Ohtani isn't expected to sign at the Winter Meetings. MLB Network's Jon Morosi reported on Sunday that Ohtani is expected to sign within the next week.

Ohtani is keeping negotiations close to the vest. According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, Ohtani told teams that if they were to leak meeting details to the media, he would hold it against them. So, there is no firm public idea of which teams are the frontrunners for Ohtani.

The two-time American League MVP is the big domino to fall in free agency. Once he signs, it appears that's when free agency will get off to a hot start. That would then apparently free things up for the Soto trade market.