Some Padres fans don’t want to hear this but it feels like it’s the truth: Juan Soto is getting traded. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has already said this offseason he thinks President of Baseball Operations A.J. Preller is going to trade the 25-year-old but he actually wrote it this morning in his latest article:
I’m afraid Rosenthal is right. We shouldn’t be asking whether or not Soto’s getting dealt anymore. The two questions we should be asking are when and where? And then what’s the return?
The Padres don’t want to trade Soto. You’d be a fool to want to trade him when you’re trying to win and he’s in his walk year (translation: I have a feeling he’s going to have a great year). But this is the spot San Diego put themselves in and it’s also the hand they were dealt.
Missing the postseason, signing guys to contracts that weren’t necessary at the time and losing their TV deal with Bally Sports has put the Padres in a spot where it feels like they need to trade one of the best players in the sport.
As Rosenthal noted, the payroll is already at $189 million, according to FanGraphs. Their payroll goal is around $200 million and we’re not at the end of the offseason. We’re at the beginning.
How is Preller going to fill nearly 700 innings that he’s losing from guys already in free agency with $11 million to work with? Oh, and what about the bullpen, a first baseman, catching help and more depth?
Trading Soto is the easiest way to do that.
Let’s hope this package they get back has multiple arms and a top prospect to dream on because seeing him go is going to be rough. One postseason appearance was all they got with him.