Chicago Cubs Rumors: Padres will be trading Juan Soto this off-season

With the Major League Baseball winter meetings one week away, there still remains the expectation that the San Diego Padres will be trading Juan Soto this off-season.

Sep 25, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; San Diego Padres left fielder Juan Soto (22) reacts
Sep 25, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; San Diego Padres left fielder Juan Soto (22) reacts / Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
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San Diego Padres superstar Juan Soto was the talk of the Chicago Cubs off-season during the month of October as speculation was that the Padres may be forced to deal Soto this winter.

The Padres are strapped for cash this off-season after having to take out a $50MM loan during the month of September to complete payroll and with Soto set to earn approximately $30MM in his final season of arbitration, a trade of the superstar outfielder likely is a necessity for San Diego.

There has been pushback over the course of the past month that the Padres may attempt to hold onto Soto while moving some of their other heftier contracts--Fernando Tatis Jr, Jake Cronenworth, and Ha-Seong Kim--but given the long-term commitments each of those contracts have, it's not all that realistic.

To that end, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Subscription Required) believes it is a near certainty that Soto will be traded this off-season.

"The question is not whether Soto will be traded. The question is which team will acquire him."

The Athletic

It's likely that the Cubs are still monitoring Soto's situation with the Padres but, for obvious reasons, signing Shohei Ohtani remains the priority for the team.

Looking beyond the unicorn abilities of Ohtani, a trade for Soto would require the Cubs to give up prospect capital to the Padres without the assurance that the outfielder will sign a long-term deal with the team.

The Cubs are preparing to make whatever financial commitment is necessary in order to sign Ohtani. It's possible that the Cubs could turn to Soto in the event that they miss on Ohtani. With the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings beginning next week, Soto is likely going to be a popular topic of conversation.

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