The Juan Soto sweepstakes are open, as many teams hope to acquire possibly one of the best players currently in MLB.
A surprise contender in the Soto sweepstakes has emerged, which is the New York Mets, according to Jeff Passan on a recent "Baseball Is Dead Podcast." This would fit the Mets' model of trying to build around a younger core of players, as Soto is only 24 years old.
At the 2023 trade deadline, the Mets traded away outfielders Tommy Pham and Mark Canha and replaced them with temporary talent in DJ Stewart and Rafael Ortega. But they could have a dominant outfield if the Mets acquire Soto to pair alongside Brandon Nimmo.
The Mets are working on a contract extension with Pete Alonso, but they have long-term infielders in Jeff McNeil, Francisco Lindor, and Brett Baty, while also having others like Ronny Mauricio. So, making a giant move to acquire Soto would probably take either Mauricio or Baty and more talent, but it would be well worth it to reinforce the lineup with a consistent player.
Would the Padres even be willing to trade Juan Soto to the Mets?
Trading for Soto would be quite expensive, but they have players they might be willing to trade in Luisangel Acuña, Drew Gilbert, and Jett Williams if they really want Soto.
The Padres, if they trade Soto, would be admitting defeat. So, if they choose that path, they could consider an overall rebuild. If they go down that path, you could see the Mets trying to acquire starting pitching help from the Padres in Yu Darvish or Joe Musgrove.
The Mets' future as a whole is also questionable, with many rumors they could replace Buck Showalter and more. But if they double down and acquire more talent via free agency or trades, they could become contenders, which is the overall goal of owner Steve Cohen.