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#pounditTuesday, February 27, 2024

Padres reliever has funny quote about giving up number to Juan Soto

Juan Soto in a uniform

May 16, 2022; Miami, Florida, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Juan Soto (22) runs to the dugout after the fourth inning against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot Park. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Juan Soto will be keeping his typical No. 22 with the San Diego Padres thanks to the graciousness of reliever Nick Martinez.

Martinez, a five-year MLB veteran, has worn No. 22 throughout his MLB career, with stops in Texas and San Diego. However, he admitted that as soon as the Padres acquired Soto, he was going to have to give up the number. He admitted that changing numbers was bittersweet, but he was doomed by circumstances no matter what.

“That number means a lot to me,” Martinez said, via Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. “It means a lot to him. It’s too bad I wasn’t a once-in-a-lifetime generational player.”

Martinez said Soto was going to buy him something in exchange for the number. Martinez initially texted Soto a picture of a boat, as he wanted to start the negotiation “really high.”

Martinez can certainly point to other athletes who have come through in a big way to get the jersey numbers they desire. Soto, who is making just over $17 million this year, can certainly come through with something good.

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