San Diego Padres star Juan Soto is becoming a hot topic of conversation in free agency and trade rumors. San Diego signed Soto for the 2023 season for a whopping $23 million due to arbitration issues. Now, the Padres face a dilemma as they look to sign the Dominican slugger to a longer contract, while also listening to lucrative trade offers from other ballclubs.
MLB analyst Jeff Passan thinks the Mets could be a problem for the Padres as they try to keep Soto:
“I think the Mets are a scary possibility for Juan Soto and I think the Mets are probably in a better position to offer prospects to go get him because I think Mets ownership has shown the aptitude and desire to draft guys like Juan Soto for a long time. – term the Red Sox don’t have (by @JeffPassan)” – MetCastPod
Last offseason, Mets owner Steve Cohen secured the return of Brandon Nimmo with a noteworthy eight-year contract to bolster the center position at Citi Field. After a disappointing 2023 season with the biggest salary in the league, concerns about the team’s competitive strategy have surfaced.
Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, two expensive senior pitchers, left the Mets after it was determined the roster needed a rebuild to have a chance to contend next season.
“I’ve never seen people say that Juan Soto couldn’t handle pressure. He’s the one, at 20 years old, watching Verlander then hitting a home run…in the World Series” – Yankstreehouse
Steve Cohen will look to target Soto this offseason, mainly due to the slim chances of them signing the two-way phenom. Shohei Ohtani. While Ohtani wants to stay on the West Coast, the LA Dodgers are touted as the Japanese ace’s preferred destination.
This leaves the New York YankeesThe San Francisco Giants and Mets are fighting for Soto to strengthen their OF and increase the hitting depth of their rosters.
Juan Soto could spend time in Queens next season
Juan SotoThe 2023 numbers out of left field were better than anything the Mets outfielders could muster. He hit 35 home runs, for a batting average of . 275, 109 RBIs, a .410 on-base percentage and 5.6 wins above replacement (WAR).
“Juan Soto hits home run No. 150 of his career” – si_mlb
If the Dishes can avoid the slow start they’ve had this season, adding a bat like Soto’s to a power-hitting lineup would likely give the team one of the best offensive groups in baseball.
The organization will likely need to shift significant resources from its agricultural system to complete the trade and it will be interesting to see if this comes to fruition.