Former MLB GM maps out potential Purple Sox commerce for celebrity Juan Soto

Purple Sox

“Are you able to think about Verdugo being a centerpiece in each the Mookie Betts commerce and a possible Soto commerce?”

Juan Soto #22 of the San Diego Padres is congratulated by teammates after he hit a home run against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning at Oracle Park on September 26, 2023 in San Francisco, California.
Juan Soto is ready to command an enormous contract in free company after the 2024 season. Ezra Shaw/Getty Photographs)

After ending in final place within the AL East for the third time in 4 seasons, the Purple Sox needs to be primed for an aggressive offseason this winter.

With Boston set to spend in free company, the Sox could possibly be viable candidates for proficient pitchers like Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Blake Snell, Aaron Nola, Lucas Giolito, and Jordan Montgomery.

The MLB sizzling range has but to catch hearth with the postseason nonetheless ongoing, however a number of studies proceed to hyperlink Boston to two-way celebrity Shohei Ohtani forward of what could possibly be a record-setting contract for the Angels DH/pitcher. 

However with a restocked farm system now in place, might the Purple Sox even be within the place to swing a blockbuster commerce or two this winter so as to considerably improve their roster?

Former MLB GM Jim Bowden mapped out such a situation in his newest piece with The Athletic on Tuesday, itemizing the Purple Sox as one among 5 groups to look at for if the Padres choose to take heed to provides for star outfielder Juan Soto.

Soto, who turns 25 years outdated subsequent week, has established himself as one of the vital feared hitters in baseball.

A 3-time All-Star, 2019 World Collection champion and 2020 batting champion, Soto slashed .275/.410/.519 (158 OPS+) with 35 residence runs, 109 RBIs and 12 stolen bases final season in San Diego, main MLB in walks whereas additionally enjoying all 162 video games.

However with the Padres in a state of limbo following a massively disappointing 82-80 file in 2023 — coupled with the anticipated mega-deal Soto is anticipated to command as a free agent following the 2024 season — the case could possibly be made that San Diego ought to promote excessive on Soto somewhat than see him stroll subsequent 12 months.

Though dealing Soto with only one 12 months remaining of group management might harm his total commerce worth, Bowden believes that Boston must embody at the very least two MLBers and two prospects to facilitate the deal.

“A possible Purple Sox bundle might begin with Alex Verdugo, who would instantly develop into the Padres’ beginning left fielder,” Bowden famous. “Add in beginning pitcher Tanner Houck (who would go proper into the Padres’ rotation) and a few good prospects resembling outfielder Miguel Bleis and right-hander Luis Perales.

“Are you able to think about Verdugo being a centerpiece in each the Mookie Betts commerce and a possible Soto commerce? I can’t both, however with Soto having just one 12 months of management remaining, it clearly reduces the return considerably.”

On condition that Verdugo might already be on the transfer this offseason after one other up-and-down season in Boston, the Purple Sox might not have qualms with shifting him — particularly if it nets a star like Soto who can change him within the outfield.

Bleis and Perales are each listed as top-10 prospects in Boston’s farm system (per, with the 19-year-old Bleis garnering loads of reward going into the 2023 season as a possible five-tool outfielder with loads of room to develop. Bleis’ improvement was stunted again in June when he underwent season-ending shoulder surgical procedure whereas enjoying for the Single-A Salem Purple Sox. 

Even when Boston did transfer each Bleis and Perales, the Purple Sox nonetheless have loads of blue-chip prospects nonetheless in place on their farm system in Marcelo Mayer, Roman Anthony, Ceddanne Rafaela, and Kyle Teel. 

That being mentioned, such a surplus of younger expertise might additionally immediate the Padres to ask for much more if a bidding struggle had been to interrupt out this offseason for Soto’s companies.

Together with the Purple Sox, Bowden listed the Yankees, Mariners, Giants, and Guardians as the opposite MLB franchises with the willingness (and property readily available) to try to pry Soto out of San Diego.