SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 3: Juan Soto #22 of the San Diego Padres advances to first base on a walk in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies August 3, 2022 at Petco Park in San Diego, California. Soto and Josh Bell were acquired by Padres from the Washington Nationals in a deal announced yesterday that sends a slew of prospects and veteran Luke Voit to the Nationals.
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Juan Soto Linked to AL Contender in MLB Trade Rumors

If you're a New York Yankees fan hoping for some reinforcements this offseason, help might be on the way in the form of one of the game's most electrifying young stars in San Diego Padres phenom Juan Soto.

With a World Series title under his belt, and a lefty swing tailor-made for Yankee Stadium, rumors of a trade for Juan Soto have arisen once more, as his Padres also find themselves farther from contention than expected. Per SNY's Andy Martino, the two sides have engaged in "preliminary conversations" about a deal.

The Yankees fell short of expectations once again this year, but they fell shorter than usual. Instead of flaming out in disappointing fashion in the playoffs, they avoided that particular indignity by missing the playoffs altogether, as they won just 82 games, barely extending their impressive streak of three decades worth of consecutive winning seasons.

It's been argued that the playoffs are random to a degree. The National League Champion Arizona Diamondbacks won just two more regular season games than New York. However, you certainly have to get in, and the Yankees will need much more out of their roster in 2024 to compete in an absolutely stacked American League East.

If the Yankees were to move for Soto, he would join Aaron Judge and eventually, currently-injured star prospect Jasson Dominguez in what could genuinely be one of the most fearsome outfield trios of the modern era. There would also be talk of teaching either of Soto or Judge to play first base- where the Yankee captain has already taken some practice reps- as it's reported that current starting first baseman Anthony Rizzo is one of the Padres' targets in these trade negotiations.

The Yankees could also tap into their network of prospects to get the deal done. Dominguez would likely be off the table- it would be puzzling to see New York sell relatively low while he recovers from Tommy John surgery- but the likes of Austin Wells, Oswald Peraza, and Everson Pereira could be involved. Anthony Volpe is likely far from untouchable, after he struggled at times during his rookie season, but the young shortstop showed enough flashes that New York will likely keep trying to develop him into a homegrown star.

Soto had a relative down year by his own lofty standards, but he still led the majors in walks for the third straight season and smashed 35 homers en route to an OPS well north of .900. Perhaps most importantly, the three-time All Star played all 162 games, so he could provide some stability for a Yankee team that deals with catastrophic injury rates just about every season.

He would serve as either a great table-setter for Judge, with his incredible on-base ability, or perhaps some much-needed lineup protection for the Yankees slugger. Judge saw fewer hittable pitches than ever this season on the heels of a historic 2022, with little reason to pitch to him rather than picking on the rest of the dismal Bronx Bombers lineup, so the addition of a bat of Soto's caliber could provide an additional spark to the lineup as well as elevating the production from the team's existing superstar.

MORE: The Juan Soto Trade to the San Diego Padres is Insane and Perfect