MLB Rumors: NL Central Team To Be "Involved" In Juan Soto Trade Talks

The San Diego Padres are looking to cut down on their payroll this offseason, and with that, the $33+M that Juan Soto is projected to be making on the final year of team control before free agency is likely headed to the trade market. 

And if the Padres are selling, the Chicago Cubs could be buying. Bruce Levine of 670 The Score and David Kaplan of ESPN 1000 are reporting that the Cubs will be "involved" in any bidding for Soto. 

The Cubs, on the 'quick rebuild' plan, spent some big money in the winter of 2022-23, bringing in big name free agents Dansby Swanson (long term) and Cody Bellinger (for 2023). The team then followed those signings with a better-than-expected season, staying in the playoff race down to the final weekend, finishing at 83-79, nine games better than 2022, and just one game out of a Wild Card spot.

As Danny Parkins and Matt Spiegel shared on their radio show, in agreeing with Levine's report, "The time is now, man. Finish what you started with the spending last offseason, and spend again now!"

For Soto, the cost, for now, will be trade assets, and the Cubs have one of the top farm systems in baseball. Then next winter comes the huge expenditure on Soto, when he'll be seeking a free agent deal likely in the $500M dollar range. 

As we reported this past week, another big-spending team is already rumored to be in on the Soto trade bidding, and others are in the mix as well, as we reported on Tuesday.