Could San Diego Padres star Juan Soto reunite with former teammate Bryce Harper in Philadelphia in 2025 MLB free agency? Jon Heyman thinks the Phillies make a great landing spot for Soto if he leaves the Padres — for several reasons.
Soto belongs to the Padres until the end of next season. So far, his tenure in San Diego hasn’t exactly panned out the way he was expecting. Since becoming one of the best hitters in baseball as a Washington National, his production has dipped.
Through his first four seasons, Soto hit .301 with a 160 OPS+. The Nationals traded him to the Padres midway through last year, and he hit just .236 in 52 games. This year, Soto’s struggles are less dramatic, but the Padres as a whole are in the midst of a highly disappointing season.
At 43-47, they’re fourth in the NL West. That’s bad news for a team that went all in on a roster of high-dollar free agent signings and a payroll of nearly $250 million.
So, if the Padres aren’t contending, it might make sense for both sides if Soto chooses to leave San Diego. The Padres may not want to add to their inefficient spending, and Soto probably wants to win.
This Phillies, however, have had a lot of luck with their free agent signings. Nick Castellanos, Kyle Schwarber, Bryce Harper, Zack Wheeler, and Trea Turner have all panned out nicely. Turner has struggled this year, but it’s early in his time as a Philly. Perhaps Soto can be the next addition to that list.
Even though he’s not producing at an elite level right now, the Phillies would have to break the bank to sign Soto. When he becomes a free agent, Soto will still only be 26 years old. At such a young age with such a strong track record, he could reasonably sign a contract similar to Mike Trout’s. Trout signed for 12 years and $426.5 million back in 2019.
The Phillies have several players who formerly played for the Nationals alongside Soto, including Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber and Trea Turner. Also, Philadelphia’s hitting coach is Kevin Long, who was with the Nationals with Soto until last year. Maybe some familiarity is just what Soto needs to get back on track.
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