The best week of the offseason is here! It’s time for the Winter Meetings in Nashville. Everyone around baseball will be in the same building—this time it’s the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. A.J. Preller has been known to steal the show during these meetings and the Padres are one of the more talked about teams already this winter so be ready for rumors to be flying all around.
Here are a few questions Padres fans will be interested in this week:
Will they trade Juan Soto?
It feels like their offseason can’t fully start until Soto gets dealt. It’s not a question of if he will get dealt but when he will be. The New York Yankees are involved and so are the Toronto Blue Jays, according to reports.
While the Padres might want to wait for Ohtani to sign so they can get the losers desperate to add Soto, if Preller keeps asking for a huge return then it won’t matter. He’ll be having a hard time getting a deal done.
Obviously the Padres and other teams will have to find a compromise to get a deal done. Perhaps sitting in the same room will allow San Diego to hammer out a deal with a team.
For now San Diego is asking for too much according to the Yankees. Preller’s ask, according to Nightengale, includes Michael King, Clarke Schmidt, Drew Thorpe, Randy Vazquez and Jhonny Brito. Even Padres fans know that’s asking for too much.
Will they make a significant move before Soto?
My answer to this question is no if I had to guess. The Padres don’t have much room to make a significant move before trading Soto. Financially they have around $11 million of room, according to reports, and which big free agent is signing for $11 million a year?
A big trade could happen but how much is that player making in 2024 and does San Diego want to risk making that move without a Soto trade guaranteed to happen. And the Padres would probably be better off making the Soto move and then going about their business because then they’d know which major league pieces they’d have on their roster.
What big name will they be linked to?
As for the big names, the Padres have already been linked to Corbin Burnes but the Milwaukee Brewers might decide to keep him to try to be in contention before the trade deadline. Preller seems to always be linked to big names so don’t be surprised if we see a reporter link the Padres to someone like Blake Snell.
Shoot, Jon Heyman put Shohei Ohtani in the same paragraph as the Padres this past week.
San Diego has already been linked to outfielder Jung-Hoo Lee. That deal would be more likely if/once the Padres get out of Soto’s $30+ million salary in 2024.