Dec 6, 2023 - News

Padres trade Juan Soto to Yankees

Juan Soto San Diego Padres

Juan Soto takes the field at Petco Park. Photo: Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres via Getty Images

Juan Soto is no longer a Padre.

Driving the news: The Padres and New York Yankees agreed to a blockbuster, seven-player trade Wednesday with San Diego superstar outfielder Juan Soto as the centerpiece, the team announced.

Why it matters: Soto was one of the best hitters in the National League last year and is on a Hall of Fame trajectory. The Padres' acquisition of him in 2022 solidified the team as a World Series contender willing to buck small-market expectations.

  • The 25-year-old had just a year left on his contract, and is expected to fetch one of MLB's largest-ever deals when he next signs.

Yes, but: Trading him and his $33 million salary to the big-market Yankees indicates the end of the Padres' free-spending days, the first major step in their signaled offseason plan to cut payroll by some $50 million before next season.

Details: The Padres packaged Trent Grisham, the team's primary center fielder and his nearly $5 million salary, with Soto in exchange for:

  • Michael King, a 28-year-old, right-handed pitcher who started nine games for the Yankees last year, throwing 104 innings with a 2.75 ERA.
  • Drew Thorpe, a 23-year-old, right-handed pitcher who MLB Pipeline ranked as the Yankees' fifth-best prospect last season.
  • Randy Vásquez, a 25-year-old, right-handed pitcher who made his MLB debut in 2023.
  • Jhony Brito, another 25-year-old righty, who pitched in the bigs for the first time last year.
  • Kyle Higashioka, a 33-year-old catcher who has spent the majority of his career as a backup.

Zoom in: King is expected to immediately start for the Padres, as the team fills three vacant spots from last year's rotation.

  • That includes Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell, who is currently a free agent.

What we're watching: Saying goodbye to Soto isn't any fun, but the Padres still have a $200 million payroll and superstars Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado.

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