SAN DIEGO ( Associated Press) — Juan Soto arrived at Petco Park, promising to bring “good vibes” to the San Diego Padres and issuing warnings to opposing teams.
earning Perhaps the biggest deadline deal ever out of a 23-year-old’s generation of talent energized the Padres and their long-suffering fans, and there’s more to come.
Soto and Josh Bell on Wednesday joined a lineup driven by All-Star slugger Manny Machado. Star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. is expected to return within a few weeks from a broken left wrist.
When that lineup takes the field, “It’s going to be really exciting. It’s going to be really tough and I wish all the pitchers the best of luck,” Soto said with a laugh at an introductory news conference.
A day after being largely received from Washington, Soto was batting second and playing in perfect ground against Colorado on Wednesday night. Machado was third and switch-hitting first baseman Josh Bell, acquired with Soto, was cleaning up the bat.
Price was crucial for Soto and Bale: rookie left-hander Mackenzie Gore, first baseman/DH Luke Voight and prospects James Wood, CJ Abrams, Robert Hassell III and Jerlin Susannah.
Washington general manager Mike Rizzo set a higher asking price last month when reports emerged that Soto declined the team’s latest contract offer of $440 million over 15 years.
Uncertainty about his future began to weigh heavily on Soto, who said after Sunday’s game against St. Louis: “I just want to get over it and see what’s going to happen. Start here or wherever I am.” “
That spot is San Diego, where the Padres entered the NL West on Wednesday by grabbing the NL’s second wild-card spot, trailing the Los Angeles Dodgers by 11 1/2 games.
Soto, one of the game’s best young hitters, said he was happy that Bale was included in the trade. Both were flown to San Diego on a private jet on Tuesday night.
“For me, I never realized I was going to do business together. I was probably thinking to myself,” Soto said. “When I realized I was coming with passion, the one between us Good relationship and I was more excited and more excited because he is coming and I know what kind of guy he is and what he brings to the table. I am excited to share another clubhouse with them.”
Soto contributed to the nations’ first World Series title in 2019 and then won the NL batting title in 2020 by hitting .351. He’s in his second straight All-Star season, and now he and Bell are on a team whose playoff chances live up to the big time.
Soto said that all the conversations with Padres general manager AJ Preler and his new teammates have been, “Let’s win, bring good energy to the clubhouse and stadium, just come here and try to win. 2019 World Series winners in San Diego.” As try to bring my experience here.
“That’s what I’m going to do, that’s what’s on my mind because I saw the trade yesterday. That’s what we’re going to try to do, try to make it to the final team.”
Soto thinks he is joining a World Series contender.
“Yeah, definitely,” he said. “This team has everything it needs to win the World Series.”
San Diego last played in the 1998 World Series, when it was swept by the New York Yankees.
Soto is under contract for two seasons beyond this year and said he is not thinking of anything after that.
He said, ‘I am only thinking of winning. “I’m coming to this clubhouse just to bring out the energy that I have, to win all the good vibes that I have to be here.”
Soto and Bell are coming from the team with baseball’s worst record, which has vaulted their subsequent opportunities.
“It feels really cool,” Soto said. “It really feels pumped to be here. Just go from a team that has no chance to be here, it’s a great feeling, a new vibe, it’s a fresh start for me. This one It’s a new beginning, a new feeling of going out there and giving more than I have.”
Bell said: “Obviously we put our heart and soul into the game, no matter where we are. … But there’s a little extra fuel to the fire to be here and to be in the hunt and get the job done. Every day is a reason to show a little earlier what we need to do. I’m definitely excited to have a new opportunity here.”
Soto and Tatis, also 23, have known each other since playing together in the Dominican Prospect League.
“He’s my boy, my hometown boy,” Tatis said Tuesday. “I mean, we played together when we were 15, 16. And now we’re on the same team. It’s crazy.”
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