This seems like a “well duh” move to make.
Soto is rumored to be on the trade market because he is in his last year of club control. Plus, the San Diego Padres may have extended themselves too far financially and are now reported to want to slash payroll.
There were reports that they had to take out a $50 million line of credit to meet their payroll demands after their television deal collapsed with Diamond Sports.
Soto might not be an ideal fit for the team’s roster construction. He plays left field and the Chicago Cubs have one of the best fielders at that position in Ian Happ.
Plus, Soto has a career -16 defensive runs saved.
He will help the Cubs with his ability to provide left-handed power to a lineup that needs to crush more home runs.
The Cubs finished in the middle of the pack in the Majors in dingers. That is not acceptable for a franchise that plays at Wrigley Field where hitting home runs should only be a challenge if the wind is blowing in.
Soto belted 35 home runs last season and has 160 in his career. He also had a .519 slugging percentage last season and a wRC+ of 155.
You can always rotate Soto at DH to keep his bat in the lineup. Handling having talented players overlapping at a position is something Counsell is a master at.
The risk of course is trying to get Soto to sign a contract extension. He kept rejecting offers when he was with the Washington Nationals. At least acquiring him would give the Northsiders a season to convince him to stay.
In addition, the Cubs would need to beat out other contending teams to get Soto. Pulling off a deal for Soto would be one of the biggest trade splashes in franchise history.