As the Washington Nationals continue to field trade offers for star outfielder Juan Soto, discussions with one team have reportedly gained momentum.
MLB insider Hector Gomez reported Thursday that the San Diego Padres are "in serious talks" with the Nationals regarding a possible trade for Soto with negotiations having "intensified" since Wednesday night.
ESPN's Buster Olney reported earlier on Thursday that the Padres were viewed by rival executives as the frontrunners to acquire the two-time All-Star. San Diego has until the trade deadline of 6 p.m. ET on Aug. 2 to get a deal done with Washington, but there will be competition from other franchises.
Jon Heyman and Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported earlier this week that "at least a half-dozen teams" have reached out to the Nationals about Soto, and the St. Louis Cardinals were perceived as the favorites to land him. Heyman later stated that the Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers are also involved in the pursuit of the 23-year-old.
Whoever manages to complete a deal for Soto will likely end up paying a substantial price. MLB Network's Mark Feinsand reported Tuesday that he was informed a deal for Soto "is going to be the biggest package you've ever seen returned for a player." The Nationals are believe to be seeking multiple young prospects in order to build for the future.
The Padres have a strong crop of players they'd be able to offer in a trade. Per MLB.com, San Diego's top two prospects are center fielder Robert Hassell III and catcher Luis Campusano.
In the midst of the ongoing trade rumors, Soto has been quiet at the plate. Since returning from the All-Star break, he's gone 3-for-21 in six games with no homers and two RBI. He will have the chance to get right in Thursday's series opener against the Cardinals.