Juan José Soto, the star outfielder for the San Diego Padres, may soon find himself in a new uniform. According to a report by Ken Rosenthal in The Athletic, Soto “will almost certainly be traded” due to the Padres’ roster limitations and pitching needs.
“The question is not whether Juan Soto will be traded,” Rosenthal said. “The question is which team is going to acquire him.” The Santo Domingo native is entering his final year under contractual control of the club and has a salary projection of $33 million through the arbitration process, according to MLB Trade Rumors.
Following the recent death of Padres owner Peter Seidler and a payroll that would put San Diego above the luxury tax for the fourth consecutive season, trading Soto could lower payroll and at the same time gain young and controllable talent for the team. Jon Heyman, an analyst for MLB Network, also mentioned that Soto’s availability on the market is “imminent,” according to rival San Diego officials.
If Soto ends up being traded, he would certainly be the most exciting move of the winter after Shohei Ohtani’s free agency. With the opportunity to land the 25-year-old slugger and offer him a contract extension, which could set records, teams like the Yankees, Mets, and Giants could be interested in acquiring Soto. Stay tuned as the trade rumors continue to swirl around the talented outfielder.