Juan Soto, the San Diego Padres’ generational star, caught the New York Yankees’ attention in 2023. They tried to move him during the trade deadline, but the Padres didn’t budge to keep their playoff alive. Well, neither of the teams could qualify for the postseason. Regardless, Yanks’ alleged interest in Soto didn’t die down but rather only strengthened as the off-season kicked off.
Since the past many weeks, the New York Yankees have remained strongly linked to Juan Soto. Their roster desperately needs an infusion of a left-handed batter who is also an outfielder. Moreover, Padres’ financial conditions also acted as a blessing in disguise. However, the latest rumors might burst the fans’ bubble as the Padres may change their stance ahead of free agency.
San Diego Padres Unlikely To Trade Juan Soto This Winter!
The New York Yankees were expected to pull off a blockbuster trade this off-season. They emerged as a top landing spot for Padres star outfielder Juan Soto. Not only that, Andy Martino of SNY even went on to claim that the Bombers and Padres held preliminary talks about the alleged trade. However, the latest rumors have left the fans shell-shocked. MLB’s general managers’ meeting took place on Monday, and Bob Nightengale of USA Today shared insights into the huddle. In a news report, Bob claimed that the Padres will hold on to Soto till the MLB trade deadline. Apparently, most GMs suggested Padres GM A.J. Preller hold on to Soto as they believe he would fetch more value during the mid-season trade deadline compared to the off-season.
Additionally, Preller has intense faith in his team, the San Diego Padres. He believes that the Padres were as good as any other team during the 2023 season. Thus, they want to make a strong push again in the first half of the 2024 season to see where they stand. In simpler terms, the Yankees might have to wait till the mid-season trade deadline to acquire Juan Soto. Nevertheless, if the blockbuster trade falls apart, the Yanks must go after Cubs outfielder Cody Bellinger. While he isn’t as consistent as Soto, when healthy, Cody is the best lefty among the lot. Bellinger showed a tiny glimpse of his lefty prowess in 2023 at Yankee Stadium. Thus, the Yankees must ignore the risk of regression and lock Cody Bellinger in a long-term deal if Juan Soto falls out of their lap.
Can Padres’ Financial Situation Be A Blessing In Disguise For Yankees?
As much as GM Preller wants his team to fight for the championship, he cannot turn a blind eye to the franchise’s financial problems. The Athletic earlier revealed that San Diego Padres sought a loan of $50 million during 2023 to cover short-term cash flow issues and also player salaries. Thus, to ensure a smooth flow of baseball operations in 2024, they have to shed off the payroll during the off-season.
Now, Juan Soto, who will enter his final year in 2024, is expected to earn $30 million in 2024. Letting go of Juan Soto alone can solve more than half of the Padres’ overall financial crunch. Thus, Preller will have an important decision to make this off-season. But as far as the Yankees are concerned, it is a blessing in disguise for them. Padres’ loss is their gain in this scenario.