The New York Yankees have been heavily involved in trade talks for San Diego Padres star Juan Soto. That much we know. Names have reportedly been exchanged, with the Padres prioritizing young, controllable starting pitching above all else.
Michael King, Clarke Schmidt and more have been at the center of those talks, per recent reporting by Andy Martino of SNY and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. However, there may be an easy explanation for the Yankees reluctance to trade for Soto -- there is not guarantee he signs in New York long term, as Scott Boras is his agent.
Per The Athletic, "The Padres are seeking a big, multi-player return for Soto, including major-league ready or near major-league ready pitching, according to an official with one of the clubs interested. It also is possible the Padres will accept lower-level prospects if they believe those pitchers are sufficiently talented."
Shortly thereafter, Andy Martino of SNY reported the potential holdup in any Yankees-Padres trade.
Martino's original tweet, in which he suggested the Yankees were unwilling to trade King plus cash for Soto, gave Yankees fans a heart attack. Of course, it's far more than that.
MLB Rumors: Yankees suddenly have competition for Juan Soto
The Yankees were one of the only teams known to be in on Soto, but on Friday another organization leaked. The Toronto Blue Jays could reportedly meet the Padres asking price thanks to desperation. Toronto is a known suitor for Shohei Ohtani, but should they lose out on the Japanese two-way phenom, then why not get the next best thing?
Soto would help take the Blue Jays to the next level, even if just for one season. Ross Atkins and the Toronto front office are under the most pressure to win now. Even Brian Cashman has a long leash. Per The Athletic, the Pads are targeting several pitchers and prospects from the Jays in any trade package:
"From the Blue Jays, the Padres could seek a package including one or more pitchers from a group that includes top prospect Ricky Tiedemann, Bowden Francis and Alek Manoah. The Jays, like other clubs, would be concerned about paying Soto $30-million plus for one season, then likely losing him as a free agent."
Toronto is shopping Manoah themselves, but the other two players would sting to lose. However, once Ohtani signs, expect the Soto trade chase to heat up. The Yankees would be wise to find a deal that works for both sides now rather than waiting around.