Juan Soto continues to be the center of chaos not of his own making. The San Diego Padres are only adding to the mix.
There have already been rumours that the Padres could look to trade Soto. He will be a free agent after the 2024 season and there are reports that the Padres are looking to cut payroll. The Yankees have already checked in about a deal and other teams are likely to do so in the coming weeks. Soto, again, is in the center of trade rumours despite his brilliance on the diamond.
Those trade rumours may have already had an impact on the Padres. According to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune, manager Bob Melvin and general manager A.J. Preller disagreed on roster construction going forward. Soto was a particular sticking point as Melvin was in favour of trading the star outfielder.
Juan Soto eye of San Diego Padres storm
One can understand both sides of the argument. Soto is going to be expensive in his final year of arbitration and does not appear likely to sign an extension. Trading him could free up the payroll needed to fill in other holes in the roster. However, the Padres are still looking to win a championship. Soto will help with that quest. And the Padres are not going to get anything close to what they gave up to bring him in.
But it is ultimately up to Preller. He has to be squarely on the hot seat despite ownership giving him a vote of confidence. The Padres will now be on their fifth manager of his tenure, something that should be a reflection on the general manager. The latest argument with Melvin needs to be taken seriously.
And Soto is again in the middle of the chaos. His departure from the Nationals was the giant white flag of their rebuilding process. The same would be the case in San Diego if he was to be traded. If that happens, drastic changes may be coming to the Padres. While Soto may be the catalyst, it is not something he can control.
Juan Soto may have been the wedge between Bob Melvin and A.J. Preller. He is unintentionally in the eye of the San Diego Padres chaos.