Let’s start with Juan Soto. The San Diego Padres are doing or more like, saying everything they possibly can to quiet the Soto trade rumors. They got an assist this week at the GM Meetings by Soto’s agent Scott Boras, who painted a rosy picture about his client’s future in San Diego.
Here’s what Boras said about Soto and the Padres when it comes the possibility that he’s traded.
Via the San Diego Union-Tribune.
“They laid out their plan for next year, which obviously included a lineup that definitely included Juan Soto,” Boras said of a meeting his agency had with the Padres’ brass on Tuesday. “He’s their one .900-OPS player. They’re obviously looking for more left-handed bats rather than less.”
“They’re telling us that they’re trying to win and they’re going to be very aggressive in the free-agent market,” Boras said.
Meanwhile, Jon Heyman also hasn’t been on the Soto is 100% getting traded train so far this offseason. San Diego’s GM A.J. Preller has also been saying how the Padres are attempting to lock up Soto to a deal this winter. However, this all seems like San Diego trying to keep some leverage because the one report that has stayed consistent is that the Padres want to cut their payroll this offseason and that means shedding at least $50 million from their books.
That brings us to a couple things from Friday. First, ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez wrote about the possibility of Soto getting traded this offseason and people around the league still expect it to happen.
But several executives and agents who spoke to ESPN were under the impression that Soto will be attainable via trade this offseason — or, at the very least, that Preller will very much be open to the conversation.
Said one rival GM: “I don’t think they have much of a choice, honestly.”
Gonzalez later mentioned the Cubs, alongside the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners, as interested teams in a Soto trade.
Meanwhile, longtime ESPN reporter, Buster Olney feels extremely confident that Soto will be dealt.
Soto, who just turned 25-years-old in October, is projected to earn a salary of $33 million in 2024 according to MLB Trade Rumors before becoming a free agent following the season.
Meanwhile, the New York Mets now have David Stearns running the show and he was a little more direct on Pete Alonso’s future, at least when it comes to the 2024 season.
Via MLB Network.
“I know over the summer there was some trade speculation, and look I’ll just say I expect Pete to be the Opening Day first baseman next year,” Stearns said. “Pete’s an important member of this team, he’s an important member of this organization, and I think we’re really fortunate to have him.”
Alonso, who leads all MLB players in home runs since making his debut with the Mets in 2019, is also slated to be a free agent following the 2024 season. His name was rumored to be in trade talks back in the summer, although later on those same reports were downplayed and supposedly were never that serious to begin with.
The Cubs were interested in Alonso back in July and will remain in talks if the Mets do make him available this offseason.
While the Mets were reportedly not going to be super active at the top of this free agent market, you can’t count out Steve Cohen and who knows, if they do acquire one of the premier free agents, then they might be more inclined to keep Alonso around and compete in 2024.
Out of the two, I think Alonso is the one who stays with the Mets, while the Padres end up trading Soto.