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As the Washington Nationals continue to decide if they are going to trade Juan Soto, we now have some idea of what the San Diego Padres will be willing to deal for the two-time All-Star.
Per MLB Network’s Jon Morosithe Padres are willing to discuss CJ Abrams, Adrian Morejón and top prospect Robert Hassell III in talks for Soto.
The Nationals haven’t completely given up hope on retaining Soto leading up to the Aug. 2 trade deadlines.
Per Hector Gomez of Z101 Digital, Washington intends to make one more contract offer to Soto. If he doesn’t accept, the 23-year-old “will be traded before the deadline.”
Gomez noted the Nationals haven’t accepted San Diego’s trade proposal because they are seeking “an additional important prospect” in the offer, as well as the four currently being talked about.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic and Fox Sports reported Saturday that the Padres and St. Louis Cardinals are the “perceived front-runners” to acquire Soto.
According to Rosenthal, there are people in MLB who believe Padres general manager AJ Preller “will do anything” to get Soto.
Preller has made several aggressive moves in recent years to help San Diego return to prominence in the National League. He gave Manny Machado a 10-year, $300 million contract as a free agent in February 2019.
The Padres traded for Mike Clevinger during the 2020 season and Yu Darvish in December 2020.
Those deals haven’t completely drained San Diego’s farm system, which MLB.com ranked as the 17th-best in MLB coming into the season.
Abrams was the team’s top prospect at the start of 2022. He’s graduated as a prospect with 134 plate appearances in the big leagues, but his first exposure to the top level of baseball has been a struggle. The 21-year-old has a .231/.280/.322 slash line with two homers and 11 RBI.
While it’s hard to make any sweeping conclusions about Abrams’ career after a small sample size, these initial struggles could be cause for concern if he is going to headline a deal.
Morejón is slowly returning to form after undergoing Tommy John surgery in April 2021. The 23-year-old has a 3.00 ERA with eight strikeouts in nine innings over six appearances since making his 2022 debut on June 7.
Hassell is the No. 21 prospect in the sport, per MLB.com. The No. 8 pick in the 2020 draft is hitting .303/.384/.463 with nine homers, 52 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 73 games with the High-A Ft. Wayne Tincaps.
The Padres are likely fighting for a wild-card spot this season. They entered Saturday trailing the Los Angeles Dodgers by 12 games in the National League West.
San Diego (56-45) does have a 2-game lead over the Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies as the No. 2 wild card in the NL.
Adding Soto would almost certainly increase the Padres’ chances of securing one of the three NL wild card spots. They would also close the gap on the Dodgers, New York Mets and Atlanta Braves as the best team in the NL.
Soto is hitting .243/.399/.478 with 20 homers, 45 RBI and an MLB-high 84 walks in 98 games this season.