Roughly 15 months after the first Juan Soto blockbuster trade, the noise that suggests there will be another one is getting louder. The San Diego Padres are expected by many within the baseball world to eventually trade the star outfielder as his contract becomes closer to expiring.

Soto being traded away is not the path that Padres president of baseball operations and general manager A.J. Preller wants. According to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports, he is trying to get his ownership group, headed by chairman Peter Seidler, to buy into the idea of keeping Soto. But that isn’t stopping the flow of teams inquiring about his availability.

“Padres GM AJ Preller is trying to persuade ownership to keep Juan Soto until at least the trade deadline, but teams continue to inquire, believing he will be moved this winter,” writes Nightengale.

The Padres assembled one of the priciest teams in MLB last season, racking up the third-highest payroll behind the New York Mets and New York Yankees. Although San Diego had an excellent pitching staff and an above-average offense, it fell out of the playoff picture just one season after making the NLCS.

Not only are the Padres about to potentially trade away Soto but they are also expected to lose Blake Snell to free agency. The odds that the Cy Young finalist (and prospective winner) will sign with the National League-rival Philadelphia Phillies are growing.

Even with stars like Fernando Tatis Jr. (the NL's 2023 Platinum Glove winner), Manny Machado, Xander Bogaerts, Joe Musgrove and Yu Darvish on the Padres' roster, trading away Soto would be a tough look. Trading Soto would bring more prospects to San Diego's farm system — highlighted by young studs like Ethan Salas and Jackson Merrill, who are both top 10 on MLB Pipeline — but this is a team that has shown a dedication to winning now.

The narrative around the Padres has quickly flipped from a team ready to pull out all the stops to win to a team that needs to reset because the price of winning — or, at least, pursuing winning in the way they did — was untenable.