Juan Soto’s move to San Diego will certainly have an effect on the hobby, but the ramifications are a little more complex than you might think.
The San Diego Padres are in win-now mode and they proved that by acquiring one of the most electric young players in the game in Juan Soto right at the MLB Trade Deadline. The Padres already have a stacked lineup with Fernando Tatis and Manny Machado, and adding Soto certainly increases their chances of making a playoff run as they fight for an NL Wild Card spot.
Soto, who is 23 years old with two All-Star nods to his name and a World Series ring, is one of the most desired players to collect in the hobby. His trade is sure to make waves.
Soto has had an interesting trajectory in regards to card market value. After winning the World Series with the Nationals in 2019, he was the hot young player to collect and invest in. That combined with the hobby boom during the COVID-19 pandemic further catapulted his value. Then the market corrected at the same time the Nationals plummeted to the cellar of the NL East. Soto’s value dropped along with his team’s championship prospects.
This trade puts Soto back into the World Series picture and his base card values are already starting to increase from the trade. His Bowman Chrome Prospects auto from 2016 in a PSA 10 dipped as low as $3,800 in June 2022 and recently sold for $8,500 at the end of July. You can expect another increase in value if the Padres make it to the playoffs and even more if they advance.
Tatis is another young star whose trading card market has experienced volatility. He is one of the most exciting players in the game to watch but has had a bad run-in with the injury bug the last two seasons. The good news for Tatis is that when you’re surrounded by great hitters, it only makes an outstanding lineup better. Soto brings even more juice to the Padres’ lineup. If Tatis can stay healthy as Soto thrives in his new home, you can expect Tatis’s value to jump.
What About the Rest of the League?
All eyes are on San Diego now, which can be good or bad. FOMO is a real thing in the hobby and collectors will be looking to get in on Soto & Co. before their values get too high, which means other players may be available for a discount. Shohei Ohtani’s value continues to plateau, and Ronald Acuna continues to dip. Now is a good time to buy other players.
Keep in mind: The Padres are currently 16 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West and the division will continue to be hyper-competitive for seasons to come. The Padres have shown their dedication to their young core of players and want to be competitive far beyond 2022. If the Padres don’t win the World Series, it wouldn’t be the end of the world for guys like Soto and Tatis. Mike Trout is a generational talent and has continued to be valuable in the hobby, despite only having one playoff appearance in his career. Soto and Tatis have high ceilings like Trout, but are in a better position to make numerous playoff and possibly World Series runs.