Pulling off the Juan Soto trade was extra complicated for Padres GM AJ Preller considering all the media coverage at every step.
Trading for a 23-year-old superstar is no easy feat, especially with competition from around the league trying to make something happen.
The Padres got it done on Tuesday, picking up Juan Soto and Josh Bell from the Nationals in exchange for five players, including several coveted prospects.
On Wednesday, San Diego GM AJ Preller explained how media coverage complicated the whole process even further on the Ben & Woods show on Audacy’s 97.3 The Fan in San Diego.
Padres GM AJ Preller explains how Juan Soto trade came to be
The Padres were honest with the Nationals about “moving parts” in the deal even before Tuesday arrived as they weighed which players to include in the deal. So when media reports emerged that a deal was imminent, Preller and company were still juggling parts of the trade.
“There’s times when literally you may agree on a deal and there’s still some things that need to be done from a medical standpoint, approval from the league office,” Preller said. “That’s where it’s weird with so much coverage these days, some things will get reported and the deal’s not officially done or you literally just hung up the phone with the other GM a few minutes ago.”
Eric Hosmer’s involvement in the whole affair was part of the drama. San Diego tried to include him in the deal but he has a no-trade clause and rejected the move to Washington.
While confusion reigned on social media as people tried to figure out if Hosmer could cause the deal to crash and burn, Preller said the player handled everything professionally. They were able to pivot to include Luke Voit instead and then send Hosmer to the Braves.
After all the drama, the Padres got what they wanted: A player who could elevate their lineup to World Series status.