On December 6th, 2023, the San Diego Padres made a late-night trade, sending outfielder Juan Soto to the New York Yankees in a blockbuster seven-player MLB agreement. The trade also involved the Yankees acquiring outfielder Trent Grisham from the Padres in exchange for right-handed pitchers Michael King, Jhony Brito, and Randy Vasquez, as well as starting-pitcher prospect Drew Thorpe and catcher Kyle Higashioka.
The Yankees had been in search of left-handed-hitting outfielders, and the addition of Soto and Grisham marked a successful offseason for the team. Just a day earlier, the Yankees had made a rare trade with their divisional rivals, the Boston Red Sox, to acquire Alex Verdugo.
The negotiations between the Padres and the Yankees were completed late Tuesday night, though the trade was delayed due to medical assessments, particularly for Thorpe, who had ended the 2023 season on the injured list. San Diego Padres general manager, A. J. Preller, stated that there had been interest in Soto from as many as 10 MLB franchises leading up to the trade.
The trade puts Soto in an outfield mix with Verdugo, Grisham, Aaron Judge, and Giancarlo Stanton. The Padres, on the other hand, are looking to add at least one starting pitcher following the trade.
The Padres initially acquired Soto in August 2022, with the plan to have him for three MLB postseason races. However, the team only made the playoffs once during his time with the franchise. Soto’s career has seen him become one of the best hitters of his generation, with an impressive track record and multiple accolades.
The departure of Soto and Grisham could potentially clear a path for newcomer Fernando Tatis Jr. to solidify his role in the Padres, who are also showing interest in acquiring Korean center fielder, Jung Hoo Lee.
The trade marks a significant move for both the Yankees and the Padres, with the impact of the trade expected to reverberate through the upcoming MLB season.