Juan Soto ‘pumped’ to join stacked San Diego Padres lineup, wishes opposing pitchers ‘good luck’

SAN DIEGO — Juan Soto arrived at Petco Park promising to deliver “good vibes” to the San Diego Padres and issuing a warning to opposing groups.

The acquisition of the 23-year-old generational expertise in maybe the most important deadline deal ever energized the Padres and their long-suffering followers, and there is extra to come.

Soto and Josh Bell on Wednesday joined a lineup at present anchored by All-Star slugger Manny Machado. Star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. is anticipated to return from a damaged left wrist inside a couple of weeks.

When that lineup hits the sector, “It’s going to be actually thrilling. It’s going to be actually powerful to undergo and I want good luck to different pitchers,” Soto stated with fun at an introductory information convention.

Soto was batting second and taking part in proper area in opposition to Colorado on Wednesday evening, a day after being obtained from Washington in a large commerce. Machado was batting third and switch-hitting first baseman Bell, acquired together with Soto, was batting cleanup.

Soto obtained a big ovation from followers at Petco when he ran out to proper area within the prime of the primary inning.

The value for Soto and Bell was vital: rookie left-hander MacKenzie Gore, first baseman/DH Luke Voit and prospects James Wood, CJ Abrams, Robert Hassell III and Jarlin Susana.

Washington basic supervisor Mike Rizzo set a lofty asking value final month after stories emerged that Soto rejected the workforce’s newest contract supply of $440 million over 15 years.

The uncertainty over his future started weighing on Soto, who stated after Sunday’s recreation in opposition to St. Louis: “I simply need to get it over with and see what is going on to occur. Start over right here or wherever I’m at.”

That place is San Diego, the place the Padres entered Wednesday holding the NL’s second wild-card spot whereas trailing the Los Angeles Dodgers by 11½ video games within the NL West.

Soto, one of many recreation’s finest younger hitters, stated he was comfortable Bell was included within the commerce. The two have been flown to San Diego on a personal jet Tuesday evening.

“For me, I by no means realized I used to be going to be traded collectively. I used to be considering most likely on my own,” Soto stated. “When I noticed I used to be coming with Josh, now we have a terrific relationship and I used to be extra excited and extra pumped as a result of he is coming and I do know what sort of man he’s and what he brings to the desk. I’m greater than excited to share one other clubhouse with him.”

Soto contributed to the Nationals’ first World Series title in 2019 after which hit .351 in 2020 to win the NL batting title. He’s in his second straight All-Star season, and now he and Bell have joined a workforce whose playoff possibilities have vaulted large time.

Soto stated all of the conversations with Padres basic supervisor AJ Preller and his new teammates have been, ”Let’s win, let’s deliver the nice power to the clubhouse and the stadium, simply come right here and take a look at to win. Try to deliver my expertise from 2019 as a World Series champ to right here in San Diego.

“That’s what I’m going to do, that is what I’ve in my thoughts since I noticed the commerce yesterday. That’s what we’re going to strive to do, strive to make all of it the way in which to the final workforce standing.”

Soto thinks he is becoming a member of a World Series contender.

“Yeah, undoubtedly,” he stated. “This workforce has every thing that it wants to win a World Series.”

San Diego final performed within the World Series in 1998, when it was swept by the New York Yankees.

Soto is below contract for 2 seasons past this yr and stated he is not occupied with something after that.

“I’m simply occupied with profitable,” he stated. “I’m simply coming to this clubhouse to deliver the power that I’ve, all the nice vibes that I’ve to deliver right here, to win.”

Soto and Bell are coming from the workforce with baseball’s worst file to one which has vaulted its postseason possibilities.

“It feels very nice,” Soto stated. “It feels actually pumped to be right here. Just go from a workforce that has no probability to come all the way in which right here, it is a terrific feeling, a brand new vibe, it is a new begin for me. It’s a brand new begin, a brand new feeling to go on the market and provides greater than I’ve.”

Said Bell: “Obviously we pour our hearts and souls into this recreation regardless of the place we’re. … But it is slightly bit further gas within the hearth to be right here and to be within the hunt and to have a motive to present up slightly bit earlier each day to get the work accomplished that we want to get accomplished. I’m undoubtedly pumped to have a brand new alternative right here.”

Soto and Tatis, who can be 23, have recognized one another since taking part in collectively within the Dominican Prospect League.

“That’s my boy, my hometown boy,” Tatis stated Tuesday. “I imply, we performed collectively since we have been 15, 16. And now we’re on the identical workforce. It’s loopy.”

Leave a Comment