The San Diego Padres surprised all of baseball the past few years, spending more than big-market teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies. San Diego has the third-highest payroll in baseball this season. Now, they are staring down the barrel of Juan Soto trade rumors, and have an easy out.
The Padres took out a $50 million loan which they are in the process of repaying. Per Evan Drellich of The Athletic, the team took out that loan to address some short-term cash flow, which included funding player payroll.
As Drellich explained, "MLB teams commonly tap into lines of credit to pay their bills, prompting some officials in the sport to suggest any concern should be tempered because the Padres were ultimately creditworthy enough to draw the loan. But other officials briefed on the team’s finances who were not authorized to speak publicly viewed the Padres’ situation as worrisome."
MLB Rumors: Padres now seem certain to trade Juan Soto
The Padres issued a team statement downplaying the financial stress on the organization, but it's tough to ignore the optics.
“The Padres organization continues to have access to all the resources, financial and otherwise, it needs to field a championship caliber team for the fans of San Diego,” Padres CEO Erik Greupner said in a statement. “We established a capital plan for 2023 with our ownership group and lender partners and are operating our business in accordance with that plan.”
San Diego is a small market, and they have several high-priced players, including Manny Machado, Xander Bogaerts and more. Soto is due an extension soon, and rather than signing him to a $400 million-plus deal.
Soto had already been floated in trade rumors prior to this report. Multiple teams are said to be interested, and that number will surely double at the Winter Meetings later this year. He's one of the best players in baseball for a reason.
If San Diego does deal Soto in hopes of saving money, they will receive a king's ransom in return. This reporting merely makes that more obvious.