Juan Soto’s decision to reject a 15-year, $440 million contract extension from the Washington Nationals signaled that his time as a member of the organization was coming to an end.
Almost immediately, the front office began having conversations with various teams around Major League Baseball regarding a trade for the talented outfielder.
Given that he is just 23 years old and is coming off becoming the youngest winner ever of the Home Run Derby, it’s understandable that a lot of squads would be interested in his services.
Over the past 24 hours, two in particular have emerged as frontrunners to acquire him.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals are currently viewed as the favorites to make something happen.
The perceived front-runners to land Juan Soto are the Padres and Cardinals, per @Ken_Rosenthal pic.twitter.com/9JSPbwVGos
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) July 30, 2022
“The perceived frontrunners are the Padres and the Cardinals,” Rosenthal said.
“The Padres are a team, we’ve seen this before under general manager A.J. Preller, they are extremely aggressive and they have prospects, no doubt. Preller would love to get Soto to go with [Fernando] Tatis, [Manny] Machado and that excellent rotation.”
Soto is currently batting .243 with 20 home runs and 45 RBIs. He would offer a huge boost to the Padres, who are presently 12 games back of the LA Dodgers in the NL West, and the Cardinals, who are just three games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central.
Where he ultimately lands will have massive ramifications for both of those divisions.
Soto isn’t the only star on his way out, though. It is increasingly looking like Shohei Ohtani will be on the move this week, although where is very much up in the air.
The photos speak for themselves:https://t.co/uSVDqRS4o2
— Game 7 (@game7__) July 31, 2022
The Aug. 2 MLB Trade Deadline is fast approaching. Who will Soto and Ohtani be playing for once it comes and goes?
Time will tell.
Related: McKayla Maroney’s Wild Instagram Story Photos Go Viral