San Diego Padres fans are still holding out hope that if they do trade Juan Soto, their $30 million man, to the Yankees, they can at least make it extremely painful on New York's farm.
Unfortunately for the residents of the Hotel Del Coronado, there isn't much precedent lately for an expensive player on a team in financial straits with very little leverage resulting in a thunderous package.
The Pads need pitching. Young pitching. MLB-ready pitching, to align with their current timeline featuring bloated superstar contracts for Manny Machado and Xander Bogaerts. Luckily, the Yankees have exactly that -- and, notably, Jasson Dominguez does not provide any pitching depth.
You have to ask, but the Yankees only have to point at the Mookie Betts trade to smack down San Diego's longshot desires. "Sure. We can beat that package. But we're not going much further. We're doing you a favor."
ESPN's Kiley McDaniel became the latest plugged-in insider to shoot down the idea of Dominguez or Anthony Volpe being a part of any serious Soto discussions. After all, neither player aligns with San Diego's chief needs, and neither player is available. Instead of a Martian-led blockbuster, McDaniel claimed "both teams might accept" a package "like" right-hander Chase Hampton, outfielder Everson Pereira, and 2023 first-round pick shortstop George Lombard Jr.
Personally? Another pitcher feels necessary. But, otherwise ... yeah, if this is the consensus, the Yankees have no excuse not to leap on this one.
Yankees prospect package for Juan Soto pitched by ESPN's Kiley McDaniel is amazing
Remember, this is Kiley McDaniel, an objective prospect evaluator employed by the Worldwide Leader. This isn't Twitter User "YankeezNutz99". If you hate his trade proposal, just remember he has zero incentive to pitch something unfair or slanted. He's just ... naming guys and balancing the scale.
The Padres will have a lineup to be envied regardless of Soto's presence. On the flip side, they're losing ~700 innings of big-league starting pitching following the departures of Blake Snell, Seth Lugo, Nick Martinez, Josh Hader and Co. Clarke Schmidt should be appealing. Michael King will likely come into play. Hampton, Drew Thorpe and Will Warren are all MLB ready (and likely better than Hayden Wesneski at his debut point).
As McDaniel and Co. have said, the Padres' best shot at making it hurt is by draining the Yankees of as much upper-level pitching as they can. Plus, if they're really still in "win now" mode, what good does Dominguez do them? He's out 'til July or August.
The Yankees may not be able to offer Alex Verdugo (yet...), but they can improve upon the dreck the Red Sox acquired for Betts by piecing together live arm after live arm. But that doesn't mean Dominguez should be anywhere near this conversation beyond the initial ask.