People in the industry believe the Washington Nationals will trade outfielder Juan Soto before Tuesday's deadline, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.
Though the Nationals could hold onto the superstar and deal him in the offseason, Passan argued the top trade contenders—San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers—could offer less with one fewer year under team control.
The Padres could be most likely landing spot for Soto. Opposing teams see the squad as a "dream trading partner due to the overflowing talent of their top prospects," according to Passan.
Catcher Luis Campusano and outfielders Robert Hassell III and James Wood are all among MLB.com's top 100 prospects. They're part of a deep Padres farm system that also includes talented shortstop Jackson Merrill.
Other young players have already reached the majors, including MacKenzie Gore and C.J. Abrams.
Those prospects could help headline a package to land Soto, a 23-year-old who already has two All-Star selections and a batting title on his resume. The right fielder finished second in MVP voting last year and currently has 20 home runs with an .878 OPS this season.
Considering Soto already helped the Nationals win a World Series in 2019, there is no question why so many contenders want to add him this season.
The Padres could be especially desperate to complete a deal as they seek their first World Series title in franchise history. The squad has reached the playoffs only once since 2006, and that came in the shortened 2020 campaign.
San Diego entered Monday trailing the Dodgers by 12 games in the NL West race, but it is currently in position for one of the three wild-card spots.
Adding Soto to a lineup that could also feature Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. would make the Padres extremely dangerous in the postseason.