Juan Soto, OF, San Diego Padres
Along with free agent Shohei Ohtani, Juan Soto represents one of the top additions clubs can make this offseason. Following a difficult 2022 season that saw him the subject of trade speculation before he was traded from the Washington Nationals to the San Diego Padres, the outfielder rebounded in 2023, putting up typical expected numbers. He had a .275/.410/.519 slash line, tied his career-high in doubles (32) and set a new career-high with 35 home runs.
Soto continued to exemplify why he is one of the league's best at getting on base, as he led the league with 132 walks. He tied Ozzie Albies for fourth with 109 RBI and his .929 OPS was eighth among hitters.
The Padres outfielder is a rare talent, and he's only 25 years old. If a club trades for him as expected this winter, they should strongly consider offering him a multi-year contract to prevent him from reaching free agency next offseason.
The Phillies don't have a huge need in the outfield, but Soto represents an elite talent that could help them win a championship. He would be a tremendous boost to Philadelphia's lineup, hitting after Trea Turner and either before or following Bryce Harper.
The four-time Silver Slugger Award winner previously played with Harper and Turner in Washington in 2018. Soto and the Phillies shortstop were teammates during the Nationals' unforgettable postseason run that culminated in the franchise's first World Series championship during the 2019 season.
San Diego is looking for both major league-ready and minor league talent after they traded several prospects to acquire Soto in 2022. As with the previous trade proposals, the Phillies will need to trade a substantial amount to acquire the Dominican phenom, who may end up being only a one-year rental. Soto's agent is Scott Boras, and his clients typically become free agents to maximize their worth, as Bryce Harper did when Philadelphia signed him to a 13-year, $330 million contract in February 2019.
A Phillies trade for Juan Soto could look like this:
Phillies receive: OF Juan Soto
Padres receive: LHP Cristopher Sánchez, OF Johan Rojas, RHP Mick Abel, RHP Griff McGarry, 3B Aidan Miller