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How the Padres made Juan Soto's blockbuster a success

The Padres are "Gunslinger" GM A.J. Preller and his management partner Peter Seidler, who will win at any cost.

They gave up five of his big potential to get 23-year-old prodigy Juan Soto and a solid bat in first baseman Josh Bell. Everyone said it was a bunch of prospects, but all over baseball managers and coaches lament relatively cautious GMs. Atmosphere is already fourth (second based on capacity) and probably the first to take center stage in baseball. The rival Dodgers, despite picking near the bottom of the draft every year, have amassed a huge number of prospects and young players, and one person familiar with the offer said the "aggressive" Padres package. The Dodgers certainly didn't want to include new ace Tony Gonsolin or any other player contributing to a big league team in the package, but still We had good prospects. Complete the transaction. The ever-conservative Cardinals have equally good prospects, perhaps with him finishing third and getting his two solid starters (Jose Quintana and Jordan Montgomery) needed. did something logical.

In retrospect, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo and Cardinals president John Mozeliak performed a powwow in Rizzo's box the night before the deal, which in retrospect looks like an intentional show for the West Coast team. looks like

Unsurprisingly, the Padres were also the most likely team if the Angels surprised everyone by trading two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani. People thought Preller would eventually get Soto, but jealousy around the game became noticeable as he also got good hitter Josh Bell, then including the No. 29 prospect as a key piece. Added late bloomer Brandon Drury to the two guys. , and that was even before Drury became the first Padre to hit a grand slam in his first at-bat, in his 9-1 win for the Padres in Soto's debut. 

Juan Soto #22 of the San Diego Padres hits a single
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Monday night. Ultimately, the Padres had James Wood (the Willie McCovey comp they desperately wanted to keep), plus Robert Hassell III (who the Knotts see as future stars) and Mackenzie Gore ("Ace ' said the rival), surrendering the top shortstop. Prospect C.J. Abrams and his 18-year-old child prodigy Jarlin Susana (throwing 100 mph with controls). The total amount only shows the true value of a once-in-a-generation talent like Sotohe has just over two years left, but he already has five players. combined, he earns eight times (perhaps he makes 15 times). many times next year). 

By the morning of Deadline, the Padres only had to find a place to send Eric Hosmer in case he refused part of the trade to Washington. By including about 90% of his $40 million going to Hosmer deal, and by bringing back high-ceilinged pitching prospect Jay Groom, Padres is placed on Hosmer's limited no-deal list. I quickly found an alternative that didn't exist. Like. His new wife, Casey McDonnell, was formerly a Boston broadcaster, but with first baseman Triston Casas Boston's best prospects, it's unclear how long Hosmer will be at the Hub. 

Juan Soto #22 of the San Diego Padres and GM A.J. Preller answer questions
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The Padres reworked their mediocre line-up, formerly Fernando Tatis Jr. When .

"Right now, the Padres are better than the Mets. I'm not sure about the Dodgers, but they're his second-best team in the National League," said one of his rival executives. people said. 

With Seidler's OK, Preller turned the sleepy Padres into a juggernaut. They could have fallen below the $230 million luxury tax threshold, but ended up exceeding millions in commitments.

Having had a lot of the ball in the air on deadline day, including uncertainty about the lineup, he gave himself the option, believing Hosmer would likely refuse the nuts. Luke Voight was said to be upset about going to a rebuilding team, but he was a pro about leaving the most exciting team in the game.