Well, somebody actually did it.
Well, somebody actually did it.
The San Diego Padres forked over six players, including two of MLB Pipeline's top 100 prospects and three former first-round picks, to acquire Juan Soto and Josh Bell ahead of the Aug. 2 trade deadline.
No disrespect to Bell, who owns a 142 wRC+ and is a perceived upgrade over Luke Voit at first base. But the obvious headliner — and needle-mover — is Soto.
Unsurprisingly, acquiring a 23-year-old superstar has had a positive effect on the Padres' World Series odds. Let's dive into that.
San Diego (60-46) sits in the second of three wild card spots in the National League. Here's a look at the club's line movement in recent days:
|Aug. 3||July 28||July 19|
Odds as of 3:25 p.m. ET on 08/03/22.
At +1,100, they have the sixth-shortest odds to win the World Series.
After peaking at 17 wins above .500 on June 24, the Padres have plodded their way to a 15-18 record since. They're 3.5 games clear of the closest non-playoff team — and eight games clear of the closest one after that — so it's not like the summer slip-up has been detrimental.
With 56 games to go, here are the Padres' playoff and title odds at a few reputable sites:
It's worth noting that from Monday to Tuesday, the Padres' World Series odds at FanGraphs jumped from 4.3% to 9.1%. That's the Soto effect for you.
A healthy surge for the Padres' championship hopes is nice, but the path to get there figures to be long and difficult no matter what.
Given that the Padres reside in the same division as the dynastic Dodgers (70-33), San Diego has little more than mathematical hope of clinching the NL West.
With that in mind, the Padres will not receive a first-round bye and must roll the dice in the wild-card round before getting a whiff of the NLDS.
On the bright side, the Padres are on track to play a best-of-three series instead of a sudden-death matchup.
Rolling with a rotation trio of Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove and either Sean Manea or Blake Snell will be nice, and it should be competitive against the reigning-champion Braves (the Padres' most likely wild card foe).
After that, the 2020 champion Dodgers would be on deck. Things could get easier from there, but starting with the past two World Series winners is as daunting as it gets.
Who, Manny Machado? No, we're actually talking about San Diego's incumbent 23-year-old Dominican standout, Fernando Tatis Jr.
Last year's NL home run champ had surgery for a broken left wrist in March and has yet to play this season.
But Tatis has returned to Petco Park for some live batting practice recently and is slated to begin a minor league rehab assignment as early as Friday.
That timeline suggests Tatis could be back in the bigs within two or three weeks, and would therefore be available during the most critical juncture of the Padres' season.
Just think, this team was already in playoff position, and then it added Soto and Tatis, who placed second and third in last year's NL MVP race. Not a bad spot to be entering a stretch run.
And don't forget the other additions: closer Josh Hader (MLB-high 29 saves) and infielder Brandon Drury (132 wRC+) are part of San Diego's all-in approach, even if they aren't the main attractions.
Blue Jays (+1,400, was +1,800): Toronto wasn't as active of a buyer as some fans may have hoped, but a few moves on the margins — paired with a 12-2 stretch entering Wednesday — explains this shift.
Whit Merrifield is the most recognizable player heading north, though his glove has been far better than his bat this season. The bullpen additions of Zach Pop and Anthony Bass, as well as swingman Mitch White, help Toronto address its greatest area of need. All three have an ERA+ of 112 or better.
Mets (+700, was +800): New York did even less than Toronto, but it saw a positive odds shift nonetheless. But the Mets' additions are somewhat specialized, as Darin Ruf excels against lefty pitching (151 wRC+) and Mychal Givens does his best work against righty hitters (.594 OPS allowed).
Neither the Braves (+700) nor the Phillies (+3,500) saw their odds move, though both clubs had more active deadlines.
Cardinals (+3,000, was +3,300): Coinciding with the Brewers' lengthening odds (from +1,800 to +2,000), the Cardinals enjoyed a slight improvement as they jockey for playoff position.
St. Louis beefed up its rotation with the additions of Jose Quintana (119 ERA+) and Jordan Montgomery (104 ERA+), which was crucial as the statuses of Jack Flaherty and Steven Matz remain uncertain. It cost the Cardinals their Gold Glove centerfielder, Harrison Bader, but he isn’t expected to play again until September at the earliest.