February 23, 2024
Padres left fielder Juan Soto reacts after hitting a house run throughout a recreation between the Padres and the Atlanta Braves on April 8, 2023 at TRUIST Park in Atlanta, GA. (Photograph by Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire)

Baseball’s winter conferences are about to start and, exterior of Shohei Ohtani’s destiny, many of the hypothesis is targeted on Juan Soto.

Will the Padres commerce him? And to whom? Can they even afford to maintain him?

And what may they get in return – prospects, pitching, extra – in the event that they do pull the set off? Or do they wait?

A commerce is taken into account a close to certainty if one faucets into the rumor mill main as much as the conferences, which open Sunday in Nashville. Or the Padres may merely be testing the market, “to begin discovering out what he’d fetch in a commerce,” as MLB.com put it.

The outfielder, who the Padres obtained from the Washington Nationals in a blockbuster mid-season 2022 commerce, is a much-sought after commodity at simply 25. He had a career-high 35 homers, 109 RBIs and 132 walks final 12 months and received the Silver Slugger for the fourth time in his six years within the huge leagues.

And for an concept of the marketplace for him – in 2022, he was reported to have rejected a 15-year extension with the Nationals value $440 million, which set the commerce to the Padres in movement.

The Friars, with big contracts already dedicated to Xander Bogaerts, Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr., have little wiggle room and large wants, beginning with pitching.

They’ve already misplaced Nick Martinez, who signed with the Cincinnati Reds, and Cy Younger Award winner Blake Snell, high nearer Josh Hader, and starters Seth Lugo and Michael Wacha, are free brokers too.

A.J. Preller, the Padres’ president of baseball operations, with the hiring of latest supervisor Mike Shildt behind him, made it clear what his process was within the weeks forward of the conferences in Nashville, which conclude Wednesday. He’s saved his ideas on Soto near the vest.

“Our group is figuring out gamers and pitchers,” he instructed MLB.com. “That’s what the subsequent few weeks are about – is trying so as to add starters and depth, so Mike has loads of choices.”