5 trade options for the SF Giants to add a star if they miss out on Shohei Ohtani

2021 T-Mobile Home Run Derby
2021 T-Mobile Home Run Derby / Matt Dirksen/Colorado Rockies/GettyImages
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5 trade options for the SF Giants to add a star if they miss out on Shohei Ohtani

1) Juan Soto

It isn't every day that a generational talent like Juan Soto is available on the trade market. Yet, a combination of poor play by the San Diego Padres and an unfortunate financial situation has led to a league-wide expectation that one of baseball's most transcendent stars will change teams this offseason.

Soto checks all of the boxes for a club like the SF Giants. He is young (still just 25 years old). He is one of the better power hitters in the league (35 homers in 2023, 27 in 2022, 29 in 2021, 34 in 2019, and 22 in his 2018 rookie year). He has a trophy case full of hardware including three All-Star appearances, four Silver Slugger awards, a Batting Title (2020), and a World Series ring (2019).

Even more impressive is the fact that Soto has displayed the best plate discipline of any player in baseball since his MLB debut. He has recorded over 100 walks in four of his six seasons (one of which was shortened due to the COVID pandemic). He also led all of baseball in walks in 2023 (132), 2022 (135), and 2021 (145). This has resulted in a ridiculous .421 career OBP to go along with a sparkling .284 batting average.

For context, it would take Soto his current walk rate (106 average per season), only 14 seasons to crack the top 25 walk producers in baseball history, surpassing legends like Hank Aaron, Wade Boggs, and Jackie Robinson. It would take even less time if one factored the COVID-shortened season into this equation.

Simply put, Soto would be an easy #1 target in any world where the best hitting/pitching combo talent in world history was not a free agent available to the highest bidder. The SF has already shown reported interest in the Padres' superstar. In any world where Ohtani signs elsewhere, the Giants should be thrilled to pivot their full attention to acquiring the transcendent.