First pitch: 3 bold predictions before the MLB Winter Meetings begin

With the MLB Winter Meetings just days away, let's look into the crystal ball to see what could happen that could shake up the baseball landscape.

San Diego Padres left fielder Juan Soto
San Diego Padres left fielder Juan Soto / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Sure, there have already been some signings and trades this offseason, but as the MLB Winter Meetings approach, expect the hot stove to get even hotter.

With the MLB Winter Meetings set to begin on Dec. 4 in Nashville, you can expect MLB's general managers and other executives to head to Music City ready to listen to offers as they try to shape their lineups for the 2024 season and beyond. However, there should be plenty of moves made before the lights go on in Nashville. With that in mind, here are three bold predictions for what could happen between Thanksgiving and the start of Winter Meetings.

MLB Winter Meetings prediction 1: The San Diego Padres will sign Juan Soto to an extension

Sure, there are lots of reasons to believe why the Padres would trade off Soto this offseason, with most of them centered around the rumored cuts to the San Diego payroll that many believe to be coming. However, with the death of owner Peter Seidler, there seems to be a different vibe coming out of the Padres as his desire to win a World Series seems even more reinforced after his passing.

With the announcement of Mike Shildt as the new manager, the belief that the Padres will keep things in house and move the organization forward seems even more pronounced.

If the Padres are going to win, they're going to have to keep one of their main offensive stars in Soto. It's that simple. Look for the Padres to sign him to an extension before the Winter Meetings to put a stake in the ground and prove that they're not ready to throw in the towel on winning in 2024.

If anyone can work the math to keep Soto and Seidler's dreams of winning alive, it's A.J. Preller.