The Atlanta Braves could trade for Juan Soto but it would cost them an All-Star

If the Padres are selling, the Braves have the resources to trade for Juan Soto (and even a starter), but at what cost?
San Diego Padres v Atlanta Braves
San Diego Padres v Atlanta Braves / Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/GettyImages
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A year ago, when the San Diego Padres acquired Juan Soto from the Washington Nationals, it seemed unthinkable that a Soto trade would even be a possibility. However, with the Padres sitting four games under .500 and 6.0 games back of a Wild Card spot, a Soto trade out of San Diego, however unlikely, is on the table. Could the Atlanta Braves be a potential destination for the 24-year-old superstar?

How the Braves could acquire Juan Soto

The 2023 MLB Trade Deadline is shaping up to be an insane sellers' market. With so many teams still technically in contention, there are few teams willing to trade away quality players. One of those teams, however, may be the San Diego Padres.

After a flurry of deadline moves in 2022, the Padres followed it with a busy 2022-2023 offseason, which was highlighted by the signing of SS Xander Bogaerts. The Padres appeared to enter 2023 as a force to be reckoned with, as their starting lineup included Bogaerts, Ha-Seong Kim, Manny Machado, and Juan Soto, with Fernando Tatis Jr. returning from his suspension in mid-April.

All five players have performed well (although Bogaerts and Machado haven't quite hit up to expectations), but the Padres, at the deadline, are not looking like a playoff team.

At the time of writing, San Diego sits 6.0 games back from the final Wild Card spot and sits in 4th in the NL West, five games back of Arizona, six games back of San Francisco, and nine games back of Los Angeles.

Considering their placement in the standings, trading Soto, who only has one year left of control after this season, for MLB-ready prospects would make a lot of sense if the price were right. After all, 2023 likely isn't the Padres year, but their roster is still strong enough to be competitive next season.

While Eddie Rosario and Kevin Pillar have had hot streaks this season, they have been roughly league-average hitters, on the whole, this season. Soto and his 154 wRC+ would be a massive improvement over the two.

While the Braves have one of the worst farm systems in baseball, they have several prospects who are knocking at the door, including AJ Smith-Shawver, Darius Vines, Dylan Dodd, and (though technically not a prospect) Vaughn Grissom. Atlanta also has several prospects who are expected to reach the majors by 2025, including Spencer Schwellenbach and Ignacio Alvarez.