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#pounditFriday, September 22, 2023

Report: Leader emerges in Juan Soto trade sweepstakes

Juan Soto smiling in the dugout

Jun 11, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Juan Soto (22) stands in the dugout during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals are looking into the possibility of trading Juan Soto, and a favorite in the sweepstakes has already emerged.

Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports that the San Diego Padres are the early favorite to land Soto. While some have floated the idea of a blockbuster swap involving Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr., one person familiar with the Padres’ thinking told Heyman that they want to pair Soto with Tatis.

The Padres could, in theory, package shortstop C.J. Abrams, pitcher MacKenzie Gore and several prospects in a deal for Soto. It is unclear if that would be enough for the Washington Nationals.

The New York Yankees and New York Mets are also expected to be in the mix. As Heyman notes, the Yankees would love to acquire the 23-year-old outfielder as potential insurance in case Aaron Judge leaves. The Bronx Bombers could certainly afford the type of extension Soto is said to be seeking.

Soto supposedly turned down a massive deal from the Nationals. He is now said to be unhappy with the team after information about the situation leaked, so that could further propel trade talks.

Soto entered Sunday batting .250 with 19 home runs, 42 RBI and an .896 OPS. He has two years of arbitration eligibility remaining.


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