San Diego Padres
The Padres were once viewed as favorites to land Soto, but former top prospect MacKenzie Gore recently landed on the IL — hampering their chances.
A.J. Preller and the Padres seem the most determined to get a deal done and by default would be willing to give in to Washington’s asking price. San Diego would probably fight against having to part ways with Jake Cronenworth due to his bat and ability to play all over the infield. Only 28, he has three years of arbitration left and would help solidify part of the Nationals infield. He’s having a down year compared to 2021 when he slashed .266/.340/.460, with 21 homers, 71 RBIs, and an OPS of .800.
Despite struggling in his first season in the majors, C.J. Abrams entered the season as the Padre’s top prospect and has shown signs of life this past month. This season he’s played sparingly (121 ABs) — slashing .231/.280/.322, with two homers, 11 RBIs, and an OPS of .603. But in 30 ABs, this month, he’s slashing 300/.313/.433, with a homer, four RBIs, and an OPS of .746. He has at least five years of control left and in D.C. would receive ample playing time. Most importantly, he wouldn’t have any pressure hanging over his head to succeed immediately.
Robert Hassell and James Wood are the Padre’s first and third-ranked prospects and are both top 100 prospects per MLB Pipeline, ranked 22rd and 89th respectively. Both have been raking at their respective levels, proving they are ready for promotions to AA and A+ respectively. Rounding out the deal would be the Padres’ 2021 first-round pick, Jackson Merrill.