The long-anticipated blockbuster Juan Soto trade finally happened, just a few hours to go until the MLB trade deadline. San Diego has conditionally acquired the ultra-talented slugger, along with fellow masher Josh Bell, in a trade with Washington. It sounds like a final hold-up is Eric Hosmer waiving his no-trade clause. (Editor’s note: Hosmer was rerouted to the Red Sox).
Let’s check in on what the Juan Soto trade did for Padres futures.
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Padres World Series Odds Shorten Following Juan Soto Trade
Unsurprisingly, adding Juan Soto increases the market’s confidence significantly in San Diego’s World Series odds. As July was coming to a close, the Padres sat around +2200 to win the World Series, an implied probability of 4.35%.
With Soto in the fold, the absolute best price you can get is now . As of Aug. 2, that’s a jump of about 3% in championship equity. Keep in mind that Soto remains under contract at massively discounted prices for each of the next two seasons as well.
Even with Soto and Bell added to an already solid team — the Padres were on a 90-win pace — catching the Dodgers for the division looks like a lost cause. A full 12 games back, FanGraphs’ projections give the Padres only a 1.1% chance to win the NL West. The Juan Soto trade figures to move that number, but not significantly.
Even in a slightly down season from his previous two, Soto has done amazing work at the plate. His 151 wRC+ ranks 10th in baseball. The prior two seasons, he ranked third and first, respectively. Since his 2018 call-up, only Mike Trout, Yordan Alvarez and Aaron Judge have produced better than Soto’s 151 wRC+.
Given that San Diego has gotten replacement-level production from both right field (where Soto has played all of his defensive innings this year) and designated hitter, he helps them more than he helps almost any other team.
Padres Ring The Bell
While everyone will rightfully focus on the addition of Soto, Bell also moves the needle in a meaningful way for the Padres.
Not quite a star for most of his career, Bell has always been a good hitter aside from a small-sample funk in 2020 when he produced an awful 77 wRC+. He has a career 118 wRC+ and has hammered the ball each of the last two season with a .367 xwOBA in 2021 and a .368 xwOBA in 2022.
If they Padres want to play Bell in the field — probably a must on days they want Luke Voit’s bat in the lineup — Bell no long embarrasses himself at first. (Editor’s note: Voit will now go to Washington after Hosmer declined to waive his no-trade for the Nationals). He has become a merely bad defender instead of atrocious thanks to improvements in recent seasons.
Given Eric Hosmer has provided another unexciting season with the stick (.306 xWOBA), Bell should provide a real boost.
Both Soto and Bell bring a key skill that has eluded the Padres this season: the ability to hit right-handed pitching. San Diego has an anemic 93 wRC+ against righties, an abysmal number for a contender. No team with real playoff hopes has been worse (Philadelphia is tied).
While Soto hits great against lefties, he’s amazing with the platoon advantage, hitting for a 167 wRC+. Bell bats switch but hits better from the left side, where he has a 123 wRC+.
The prospect-heavy price for the Juan Soto trade — only part-time big-league contributors Mackenzie Gore and CJ Abrams head to Washington — means the Padres minimally damaged the current lineup while massively upgrading the future lineup. For those holding Padres tickets, this looks like a home run the likes of which Soto spent his All-Star break belting.
Scroll down in the below table to check out current Padres futures prices.