MLB Rumors: This Team Might Be ‘Early Favorite’ To Land Juan Soto

Soto might not be long for the nation's capital

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The Juan Soto sweepstakes appear to be open.

Soto reportedly turned down a monstrous 15-year, $440 million contract extension offer from the Nationals, thus prompting Washington to take calls on the star outfielder. While virtually every team in Major League Baseball should at least do its due diligence on a potential Soto deal, a handful of organizations are better set up to acquire the 23-year-old than the rest.

The obvious contenders, as the New York Post’s Jon Heyman pointed out in a column published Saturday, are the Yankees and the Mets. But if you ask Heyman, a more likely landing spot for Soto might be San Diego.

Heyman highlighted the Padres’ robust farm system as a big reason why Soto potentially could end up on the Pacific coast. While the MLB insider believes the Nationals likely would ask for Fernando Tatís Jr. in negotiations, a source tells Heyman that San Diego’s vision is for the pair of Dominican superstars to play together.

Of course, trading for Soto is only half the battle. An equally demanding aspect is paying the two-time All-Star, who could command a $500 million contract when the time comes. While a price that high seemingly lends itself to “big market” clubs, recent history suggests the Padres can’t be overlooked. San Diego had no issue shelling out heaps of dough to Tatís, Eric Hosmer and Manny Machado.

The Padres need another piece in order to come level with the division rival Los Angeles Dodgers. Not only would Soto fill that gap in spades, but he very well could make San Diego the top team in the National League.

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