Last winter, the Boston Red Sox lost star shortstop Xander Bogaerts to the San Diego Padres in stunning fashion when the Padres blew him away with an 11-year megadeal. This offseason, however, the Red Sox have a chance to return the favor and poach one of San Diego's stars.
With Juan Soto entering his final season before free agency, the Padres find themselves in a similar predicament to the one Boston was in with Mookie Betts four years ago. Coming off a disappointing season and burdened by a high payroll, San Diego may look to trade its star outfielder rather than pay what it will take to keep him.
If that's the case, then Boston looks like a great trade partner. Jim Bowden of The Athletic agrees, naming the Red Sox as one of the five best suitors in a potential Soto trade.
Red Sox Trade Rumors
If the Padres are looking for prospects and controllable young talent, then Boston is a perfect match. If there's one thing Chaim Bloom did well during his four years running the Red Sox, it was restocking the farm system and building up a strong base of young talent.
With Soto potentially available, this winter could be the perfect time to cash in some of those prospects. Bowden proposes a blockbuster trade where Boston sends Alex Verdugo, Tanner Houck and a pair of prospects to San Diego in exchange for Soto.
This would be a good deal for both sides. The Padres would get an outfielder to replace Soto in Verdugo -- who's also in his final year of team control -- as well as some pitching help in Houck and some prospects to help replenish their farm system. The Red Sox, on the other hand, would get the star outfielder they've sorely been missing since they traded Betts away in 2020.
Of course, such a deal would likely be contingent on Boston extending Soto after acquiring him, otherwise they'd be giving up too much for just one season of him. Red Sox ownership has money to spend this offseason, though, after taking a step back in payroll last year and getting under the luxury tax.
Trading Betts will always be unforgivable, but landing Soto would finally take some of the sting out of it.
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