The Padres reportedly had a “preliminary conversation” with the Yankees over a potential Juan Soto trade, according to Andy Martino of SNY.
Martino reports that, despite contact having been made between the two teams, talks have not advanced beyond their “initial check-in.”
“The strong expectation of rival executives is that Soto, 25 years old and entering his final season before free agency, would be available in ‘the right deal,’ as one non-Padres and non-Yankees exec put it. That means that San Diego is not actively shopping Soto, but is not ruling out a move, either,” wrote Martino on Wednesday.
2024 will be Soto’s final season of arbitration before he’ll be eligible for free agency. Previous reports said that the Padres intend to cut their payroll by as much as 20% for the upcoming season.
Soto, who made $23 million in 2023, a number that figures to rise significantly this coming season, could potentially be moved ahead of his last year of arbitration in order to help the team shed salary.
New York figures to be in the market for a left-handed bat this offseason, and Soto could be a good fit for their needs after the Yankees missed the playoffs in 2023. Of course, as Martino reported, the talks appear to be surface level.
Last season, Soto slashed .275/.410/.519 with 35 home runs, 109 RBI, and 12 stolen bases. He led MLB with 132 walks during the regular season.