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Juan Soto had a simple, yet obvious, message to the rest of Major League Baseball during his first San Diego Padres press conference on Wednesday.
“I wish good luck to the other pitchers,” Soto said when asked about the Padres’ new-look lineup. “It’s gonna be really exciting … it’s gonna be tough to go through.”
Gee, ya think?
“I wish good luck to the other pitchers"
-Juan Soto pic.twitter.com/MswcV3XLev
— Baseball King (@BasebaIlKing) August 3, 2022
The Padres traded for Soto and Nationals teammate Josh Bell on Tuesday in one of the bigger trade deadline deals in league history.
Soto, 23, is already regarded as one of the top players in the game and could command the largest contract in MLB history when his current deal expires in 2024.
For now, though, he’s a member of an already loaded Padres team that features Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr.
Machado is in the middle of one his best professional seasons with 18 homers and 58 RBI, while Tatis is expected to return to the team relatively soon as he works his way back from a fractured wrist.
Combine those two with Soto and Bell, who have 35 homers between the two of them this season, and San Diego’s lineup figures to be a nightmare for opposing pitchers for the foreseeable future.
Soto, by the way, will wear No. 22 for the Padres – the same number he wore in Washington.
It won’t come without a price, though. Later in his presser, Soto revealed that he had to negotiate with new teammate Nick Martinez to get the number.
The going rate, according to Soto? A fishing boat!
“I was really shocked and surprised,” Soto said of the request. “I thought it was a little too much. I told him I’d try to get him a really nice watch and he accepted.”
Come on, Nick. Stick to your guns! Soto could be worth over $500 million in a few years, I think he can swing a boat.