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Blue Jays “intensify talks” about Juan Soto, Alek Manoah reportedly coming up in trade conversation

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Photo credit:Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
4 months ago
The smoke around the Toronto Blue Jays trying to trade for star outfielder Juan Soto has continued as Major League Baseball’s annual Winter Meetings kicked off on Sunday.
With Soto set to earn around $33 million in his final go-around at arbitration, the cash-strapped San Diego Padres will likely deal the three-time All-Star this winter.
The New York Yankees were originally viewed as the most realistic landing spot for Soto given their need for a big left-handed bat and considering they aren’t among the handful of teams in on Shohei Ohtani. That said, the Yankees apparently backed away after the Padres requested a six-player package involving pitchers Michael King and Drew Thorpe in return for Soto and outfielder Trent Grisham and the two sides haven’t talked since.
Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal reported on Friday that the Blue Jays were “one of several teams talking to the Padres about Soto,” and Hector Gomez said on Saturday that talks between Toronto and San Diego were “intensifying.” On Sunday, Jon Heyman added that Alek Manoah had come up in the trade talks between the Blue Jays and Padres, while Ben Nicholson-Smith reported that the team’s Opening Day starter had drawn interest from “at least four teams this winter.”
The Padres are said to be looking for big-league-ready pitching, according to Rosenthal, while former MLB general manager Jim Bowden wrote in The Athletic last week that he would expect the Padres to net “an average major-league player, a top-three to top-seven prospect (ranking within an organization), a top-12 to top-15 prospect, and maybe even a top-35 to top-40 type prospect” depending on the strength of the team’s system.
Manoah struggled mightily during the 2023 season. He posted a 5.87 ERA and was demoted to the minor leagues on two separate occasions, first to the Florida Complex League and second to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, which led to a disagreement between the player and team about how a supposed injury was handled.
Despite the poor results and the sour note on which the season ended, general manager Ross Atkins has spoken optimistically about Manoah’s role on the team in 2024, saying: “Alek isn’t thinking about winning the fifth spot. He’s thinking about excellence. He’s thinking about being one of the better starters in the game. And we believe that he can build back towards that.”

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