Juan Soto may ultimately remain on the Washington Nationals roster to finish the 2022 season, but every indication thus far is general manager Mike Rizzo continues evaluate options leading up to the MLB trade deadline on Aug. 2.
It was just last month that Rizzo said the Nationals would not trade Soto, but that has seemingly changed in the wake of the 23-year-old rejecting a $440 million contract extension. A report of Soto turning down the 15-year deal went public leading into All-Star Weekend, which left him to answer questions heading into the Home Run Derby and 92nd Midsummer Classic.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets and New York Yankees have been among the teams connected to a potential Soto trade over the past week.
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, some view the Padres as the favorite to trade for the 2022 Home Run Derby champion:
As of Thursday morning, some rival executives perceive the Padres to be the frontrunner to land Juan Soto.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 28, 2022
Padres president of baseball operations and general manager A.J. Preller is regarded as one of the most aggressive executives, and Soto once believed he would sign with San Diego. However, they instead remained in pursuit of Fernando Tatis Jr. and other international prospects.
Trading for Soto at the deadline would put him on the Padres roster for three potential playoff runs. While they have fallen well behind the Dodgers in the National League West standings, the Padres remain in position for a Wild Card berth.
Juan Soto appreciated Dodgers fans
While playing in the All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium, Soto was treated to a “future Dodger” chant that elicited a smile.
“It sounds pretty fun, but at the end of the day I’m glad they cheered for me. I don’t mind whatever they say if they say something good,” Soto said prior to the series opener between the Nationals and Dodgers.
“I’m just enjoying it.”
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