Yankees and Padres Far Apart on Juan Soto Deal
By Ken Rosenthal, Dennis Lin, and Brendan Kuty
The New York Yankees and San Diego Padres are currently in negotiations regarding outfielder Juan Soto, but sources indicate that the two teams are far apart on a potential deal. This comes as no surprise, as the Yankees face competition from other teams interested in acquiring the left-handed slugger.
Blue Jays Also Interested in Soto
The Toronto Blue Jays are among the teams engaged in talks with the Padres about acquiring Juan Soto. If the Blue Jays fail to sign Shohei Ohtani, Soto would be an ideal fit for their roster. Additionally, if the Padres wait, other teams that miss out on Ohtani could enter the bidding war for Soto.
Padres’ Demands for Soto
The Padres are seeking a significant return for Juan Soto, including major-league ready or near major-league ready pitching. However, they may also consider lower-level prospects if they believe those pitchers have enough talent. With several pitchers leaving the team in free agency, the Padres have immediate needs to address.
Yankees and Blue Jays Potential Trade Packages
The Yankees have expressed interest in trading Clarke Schmidt and Michael King to acquire Juan Soto. The Padres view King as part of their 2024 rotation, but he could also serve as a quality multi-inning reliever. On the other hand, the Padres could seek a package of pitchers from the Blue Jays, including top prospect Ricky Tiedemann, Bowden Francis, and Alek Manoah.
Trent Grisham as a Potential Trade Piece
In discussions with the Yankees, the Padres have proposed including Trent Grisham in a deal for Juan Soto. This would allow the Yankees to address their needs in both center field and left field. However, Grisham’s performance last season may make this trade less appealing for the Yankees.
Involvement of a Third Club
If the Padres are unable to reach a satisfactory deal with a single trading partner, they may consider involving a third club. The Seattle Mariners, for example, have desirable pitching but may be hesitant to part with it for only one year of Soto. In such a scenario, the Mariners could acquire offensive pieces from the team that lands Soto while sending pitching to San Diego.
Soto’s Contract Situation
Juan Soto is considered one of the best hitters available in both trade and free agency. However, any team that acquires him will face challenges in signing him to a long-term extension. Soto turned down a lucrative offer from the Washington Nationals and his agent, Scott Boras, prefers his clients to establish their values through open bidding.
— The Athletic’s Jayson Stark contributed to this story.