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 carry “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 largest 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 the moment anchored by All-Star slugger Manny Machado. Star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. is anticipated to return from a damaged left wrist inside just a few weeks.

When that lineup hits the sphere, “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 enjoying proper discipline towards Colorado on Wednesday night time, a day after being acquired from Washington in an enormous commerce. Machado was batting third and switch-hitting first baseman Bell, acquired together with Soto, was batting cleanup.

Soto obtained an enormous ovation from followers at Petco when he ran out to proper discipline within the high of the primary inning.

The worth 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 common supervisor Mike Rizzo set a lofty asking worth final month after reviews 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 towards 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 greatest younger hitters, stated he was comfortable Bell was included within the commerce. The two had been flown to San Diego on a personal jet Tuesday night time.

“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, we have now an excellent 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 massive time.

Soto stated all of the conversations with Padres common supervisor AJ Preller and his new teammates have been, ”Let’s win, let’s carry the nice power to the clubhouse and the stadium, simply come right here and take a look at to win. Try to carry my expertise from 2019 as a World Series champion 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 attempt to do, attempt 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, positively,” he stated. “This workforce has every part 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 underneath contract for 2 seasons past this 12 months and stated he is not serious about something after that.

“I’m simply serious about successful,” he stated. “I’m simply coming to this clubhouse to carry the power that I’ve, all the nice vibes that I’ve to carry right here, to win.”

Soto and Bell are coming from the workforce with baseball’s worst report 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 likelihood to come all the way in which right here, it is an excellent 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 irrespective of the place we’re. … But it is a little bit bit further gas within the fireplace to be right here and to be within the hunt and to have a cause to present up a little bit bit earlier each day to get the work performed that we’d like to get performed. I’m positively pumped to have a brand new alternative right here.”

Soto and Tatis, who’s additionally 23, have identified one another since enjoying collectively within the Dominican Prospect League.

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

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