The San Diego Padres’ asking price for Juan Soto has been released to the media, and it is more destructive than productive. The Padres are asking the New York Yankees not only for seven players in the deal, but to take on Trent Grisham also. Brian Cashman has outright refused to continue the conversations with AJ Preller, as these demands are completely out of bounds. No organization is going to surrender seven players, most of whom are major league-ready talent and elite pitching prospects, as Soto is also a free agent following the 2024 season.
The Padres’ Asking Price for Soto
That is essentially all of the Yankee pitching depth and its future. King and Schmidt are major league starters at the moment. Vasquez and Brito are great depth pieces in case an unforeseen injury occurs. Thorpe is an elite prospect who could headline a deal, but not in a seven-man package.
AJ Preller is right to ask for a lot, considering he is trading away one of the best players in the game. However, even he must believe he’s reaching for straws, as it seems he’s looking to essentially fleece the Yankees. Preller has to be careful not to lose the deal. Right now, no one else is engaging as heavily on the Soto front as the Yankees. In addition, the Yankees have the players needed to make a justifiable trade. Most organizations are looking to acquire pitching, while the Yankees are looking to upgrade the offense. This is why both organizations are great trade partners on paper, as they both have what the other needs. However, the Yankees can also acquire offense via free agency.
The Winter Meetings
Brian Cashman and AJ Preller will most likely discuss the trade during the winter meetings. Still, the Padres will have to lower their asking price significantly if they going to reach a deal. The Yankees know time is on their side and as the offseason progresses, the price for Soto will go down.
In theory, if Soto is not traded until the deadline in August, the Padres will have missed a huge opportunity to cash in on the phenom. At that point, teams could offer pennies in comparison to what they could offer now. This is because instead of having a season of Soto, teams would have a third of one. Preller simply has to make a deal before the season begins, as this is the time when offers will be the highest.
So far, trying to extort the Yankees is working against Preller, since he needs this deal to go through desperately. As of right now, the expected payroll for the Padres is $190 million. The team does not want to exceed $200 million, as they just took out a $50 million bank loan in September. That only leaves $10 million in wiggle room to address the pitching issues, which is simply not enough money to do so. However, if Soto is traded, that would free up an estimated $30 million due his to arbitration. Therefore the Padres do not merely want a deal to happen, they need a deal to happen.
“I think these two sides will find their way back to each other. The Yankees know this is a move they have to make.” -Jack Curry on Juan Soto pic.twitter.com/C9tiraowHL
— Talkin’ Yanks (@TalkinYanks) December 5, 2023
A Potential Padres-Yankees Soto deal
It’s more than likely the Yankees will trade four or five players instead of seven. The package would probably include Michael King, Drew Thorpe, Jhony Brito, and another pitching prospect or outfielder. If Trent Grisham is included in the deal, the price probably goes down even further, as he would be a salary dump.
The Yankees are in the driver’s seat for this trade and probably will end up with Juan Soto. On their end, though, they cannot become too lax and prospect hug, as they still need to address the offense. But without Soto, the Yankees could also fix their offense in free agency via such options as Cody Bellinger, Jung Hoo Lee, and Matt Chapman.
The trade for Juan Soto will probably also occur after Shohei Ohtani signs, as teams want to see the market numbers. If Ohtani ends up with a potential $70 million a year, then Soto will probably sign upwards of $40 million a year. Soto is a better player offensively, but he also doesn’t pitch, lessening his value relative to Ohtani.
This hypothetical deal between the Yankees and Padres makes too much sense not to happen. It would be a complete shock if both parties did not come to a deal. Ultimately, both teams have more to lose than gain if the deal never happens.
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