The San Diego Padres were baseball’s version of a dumpster fire in 2023. Well, one of them (looking at you, New York Mets). And with several key players hitting free agency this offseason, major changes could be coming to this roster.
All eyes are on All-Star outfielder Juan Soto. What was once thought to be the final piece to the World Series odds puzzle is now the Padres’ best trade chip. There will be no shortage of suitors for Soto’s services, which means MLB odds are now posted for where he will take his famous shuffle next season.
Let’s break down Juan Soto’s next team odds and look at the betting favorites to land the San Diego slugger.
Which MLB team will Juan Soto play for in 2024?
|New York Yankees
|New York Mets
|Boston Red Sox
|San Francisco Giants
|Toronto Blue Jays
Odds as of November 29, 2023.
The situation at a glance
With a lineup featuring Juan Soto, Manny Machado, and Fernando Tatis Jr., and a starting rotation led by Blake Snell, Yu Darvish, and Joe Musgrove, the San Diego Padres were among the MLB odds favorites to win the 2023 World Series.
But things did not go as planned. The Padres got off to a slow start and never really recovered, finishing the season at 82-80 and in third place in the National League West. They did go 19-7 in September, but the hole was just deep enough that they missed the final NL wild card by just two games.
The offseason hasn’t been great for San Diego either, as the team reportedly lost its TV deal and a bunch of revenue as a result. So, the team is looking to cut payroll, apparently by as much as 20%. So, see you later Snell, and free-agent closer Josh Hader. Trading Soto would also go a long way to getting there.
Now, with the current roster in place, the Padres should still contend in 2024, so they won’t be giving Soto away for peanuts. But they also know they have needs at starting pitcher and first base, which could be addressed with a Soto trade, especially with the star outfielder set to hit free agency after next season.
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Favorites to trade for Juan Soto ahead of the 2024 season
New York Yankees (+200)
In the most unsurprising news in odds history, the New York Yankees are the betting favorites to land a superstar.
The Yankees are coming off one of their worst seasons in recent memory, finishing in fourth place in the American League East at 82-20. And it may seem ludicrous to say this, but the Yankees' biggest problem was scoring runs.
New York plated just 673 runs last season, 73 fewer runs than the next closest in the division and fewer than the 56-win Kansas City Royals scored. Basically, if the hitter wasn’t Aaron Judge, the Yankees weren’t getting production out of their lineup.
Judge needs protection in this lineup and Soto would provide just that. Additionally, the Yankees have the farm system to pull off a deal like this.
But make no mistake, acquiring Soto isn’t a luxury for the Bronx Bombers, it’s a necessity.
Seattle Mariners (+500)
It was also a disappointing season for the Seattle Mariners. One year removed from ending their lengthy postseason drought, the Ms got off to a slow start in 2023 and while they made a run in the second half of the season, it was too little, too late.
But Seattle is already making moves in hopes of returning to the postseason, starting by trading infielder Eugenio Suárez to the Arizona Diamondbacks. With slugger Teoscar Hernandez hitting free agency, the Mariners are definitely looking to add some production to the lineup.
Pairing Soto with incumbent young superstar Julio Rodriguez would give the Mariners one of baseball’s most dynamic duos around which to build. And like the Yankees, the Mariners have the combination of young major-league talent and prospects to get a deal like this done.
New York Mets (+650)
This is just because the New York Mets seem to be in on everyone right? The Mets are interesting because they are in the same spot as the Padres, coming off a season that started with World Series aspirations and ended like the Hindenburg. But nothing is off the table for owner Steve Cohen.
The Mets owner has been known for making big moves ever since he bought the team. While what the Mets could really use is starting pitching, they certainly could use a corner outfielder, especially one who swings the bat like Soto. Any sort of good publicity following the trainwreck that was the 2023 season would go a long way to making good with the fan base.
The one thing holding the Mets back here is they couldn’t offer the same prospect package as some of the other teams looking to land Soto. At least in terms of starting pitching.
Other notable options
Boston Red Sox (+600)
The Boston Red Sox recently named Craig Breslow its top baseball executive, and you know he would love to start his tenure off in Boston with a big, splashy move. Even though he should probably focus on pitching, bringing in Soto would move the needle considerably — and maybe, finally, wash the bad taste of the Mookie Betts trade out of fans' mouths.
Obviously, Boston has the finances to make a Soto extension work, but this is another team that may not be able to match some of the prospect packages other teams would be able to put together.
The NL West
The Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, and Arizona Diamondbacks (sorry, Colorado Rockies fans) each have great interest in acquiring Soto and he is a great fit for all three teams. The Dodgers could probably put together the most tempting package to pry Soto away from the Padres. The problem is San Diego would be hard-pressed to trade Soto within the division — particularly to the hated Dodgers — in a season where it's expected to contend for the NL West crown.