The Padres have emerged as the winners of acquiring all-star Juan Soto from the Nationals, beating out the Cardinals, Dodgers, and Angels among other teams.
We knew yesterday that the Padres were in a full-out “win now” mode after they made a move to acquire all-star reliever Josh Hader from the Brewers. We also know that the Padres are focused on winning because of what they gave up for Soto. As ESPN’s Jeff Passon said: “This is the largest trade package for an individual player we have ever seen”. The Padres are expected to move young studs like CJ Abrams, Mackenzie Gore, James Wood, Robert Hassell, and Jarllin Susana. Eric Hosmer is also expected to be moved pending his waiving of a no trade clause in his contract.
The acquisition of Soto was never guaranteed, but it was thought that San Diego or the Dodgers would pull it out. Now, after a good 15-year stretch of being the worst team in Major League Baseball, the Padres have some of the youngest and most elite talents the game has to offer. As Fernando Tatis Jr nears a rehab assignment and as Manny Machado proves he is still one of the game’s elite third basemen, the acquisition of Soto gives the Padres one of the greatest “big 3’s” of the 21st century.
(MILWAUKEE, WI – JUNE 04: San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. (23) takes infield prior to a game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the San Diego Padres on June 4, 2022 )
Will it be enough to beat the Dodgers or the Yankees this year? That’s hard to say with the way New York is playing right now. It doesn’t seem like any team would beat the Yankees in a seven-game series, and yet the dodgers are still favored to win it all.
With that said, even if the Padres don’t win it all this year, they are still guaranteed to contend in the next 5 years, assuming they can sign Soto long-term outside of the guaranteed two years he will have with the club. On the other hand, the Yankees might not even be able to keep Judge after this year, and the Dodger’s payroll might not be sustainable. Of all the uncertainty that exists, there is only one absolute truth: this is as good of a time to be a Padres fan as there has ever been.