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With hours to go prior to the 6 p.m. ET trade deadline, the NORTH PARK Padres seem to be the front-runner in the Juan Soto sweepstakes.
Per Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post, there exists a “growing sense” round the league that the Padres will land the 23-year-old All-Star as well as perhaps get Josh Bell in exactly the same package from the Washington Nationals.
Jesse Dougherty @dougherty_jesse
Was a night time for the Nationals front office, needlessly to say, and I’ve also heard the field is narrowing in the Juan Soto sweepstakes. https://t.co/wLATpIU6oX
Jon Heyman of the NY Post and MLB Network noted the Padres are “being aggressive” within their quest for Soto and Bell.
The Padres have previously made one significant move that presents they’re all-in attempting to win in 2022. They acquired All-Star closer Josh Hader from the Milwaukee Brewers in trade for Taylor Rogers, Dinelson Lamet and prospects Robert Gasser and Esteury Ruiz on Monday.
Per Jim Bowden of CBS Sports HQ, the Padres’ offer to Washington for Soto and Bell includes C.J. Abrams, Robert Hassell III, Adrian Morejon and “at the very least” two other players.
Abrams, San Diego’s top prospect getting into this year, is off to a slow begin in his first contact with big-league pitching. The 21-year-old is hitting .232/.285/.320 in 46 games this year.
Hassell may be the No. 21 overall prospect in baseball, per MLB.com. The 20-year-old was the No. 8 overall pick in the 2020 draft and contains an .846 OPS in 75 games at High-A Ft. Wayne this year.
Morejon, 23, is working his in the past from Tommy John surgery in April 2021. The left-hander includes a 6.75 ERA in six relief appearances for the Padres this year.
There were conflicting reports about who’s potentially in the lead for Soto at this stage in trade talks.
USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale reported Monday the LA Dodgers have already been “a lot more aggressive” recently making use of their offers to the Nationals.
The St. Louis Cardinals were also mentioned by Nightengale as a solid suitor for Soto.
On a recently available bout of ESPN Daily, Jeff Passan noted one unnamed team executive called Washington’s price tag for Soto “completely asinine and ridiculous.”
That has been on July 26 as well as perhaps things have changed during the period of a week, but there is no reason behind Washington never to seek the largest possible return.
Soto has generated himself among the best hitters in Major League Baseball. He could be also incredibly valuable by virtue of experiencing two additional years of team control beyond this year before he is able to turn into a free agent.
NORTH PARK pursuing Bell can be an added wrinkle to the negotiations. The 29-year-old is really a first baseman who’s only signed through this year. He’s getting the best season of his career with a .307/.384/.493 slash line with 14 homers in 103 games.
The Padres were unsuccessful within their try to deal Eric Hosmer through the offseason. The Athletic’s Dennis Lin, Ken Rosenthal and Andy McCullough reported in April a trade concept was discussed that could have sent Hosmer and Chris Paddack to the brand new York Mets for Dominic Smith.
The deal finished up not happening, nonetheless it can be an indication that San Diego’s front office has been attempting to upgrade the first-base position for quite a while.
Kevin Acee of the NORTH PARK Union-Tribune recently said on XTRA 1360 (h/t Ben Fadden of Gaslamp Ball) that Hosmer has been told he will not be traded.
Soto may be the main focus as time passes winding down for contenders to create their final bid to upgrade their roster for the stretch run. The two-time All-Star is hitting .246/.408/.485 with 21 homers and 46 RBI in 101 games this year.
The Padres (58-46) currently trail the Dodgers by 12 games in the NL West but have a two-game lead on the Philadelphia Phillies for the next wild-card spot.