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Throughout spring training the CBS Sports MLB experts will bring you a weekly Batting Around roundtable breaking down pretty much anything. The latest news, a historical question, thoughts about the future of baseball, all sorts of stuff. Last week we made our World Baseball Classic picks. This week we're going to discuss the future of one of the game's greatest players.

Do you think the Padres will be able to keep Juan Soto?

R.J. Anderson: Who am I to bet against Peter Seidler? Obviously it doesn't make sense for Soto to take a discount or anything like that. The Padres have shown a willingness to pay top players what they're worth, however, and that gives them a fighter's chance. I know if I were choosing between buying another yacht and employing one of the best hitters in baseball, I'd pick Soto. Seidler seems like the rare owner who agrees with that choice.

Matt Snyder: In a word: Yes. 

I can say more, though. Heading into this past offseason, I thought the Padres were tapped out, given the resources they were already spending on a team in one of the smallest markets in the league. They proved me wrong in a major way and I'm never betting against this ownership group again. We've seen general manager AJ Preller go crazy in terms of years in what looks like a nice way to game the luxury-tax system. Keeping that in mind in addition to Soto only being 24 years old, I'm expecting something that looks excessively long (18 years?!?!). Regardless, I'm very confident it happens. 

Dayn Perry: While I love the way the Padres have wisely invested in the on-field product at levels that prove small-market teams can compete, I think Soto exercises his right to be a free agent and remains unsigned long-term. I have no doubt that Peter Seidler will make a good-faith effort to keep Soto, but I'm just going with a gut feeling that Soto hits the market after the 2024 season and signs the largest free-agent contract in MLB history.

Mike Axisa: I'm going to say no and not because I expect the Padres to cheap out or anything like that. MLB needs more owners like Peter Seidler and I expect San Diego to make a major push to retain Soto. I just think Scott Boras is dead set on taking Soto out into free agency so he can pursue a record contract at age 26. Boras likes to take his top clients into the open market (think Gerrit Cole, Bryce Harper, etc.) and push the salary scale upward. Soto has already turned down 15 years and $440 million. He's looking to beat that and I have a hard time believing he'll pass on free agency. The Padres will try and Soto and Boras will politely decline, and test free agency in two years.