With the MLB trade deadline less than a week away I thought I’d take a look at this years hottest trade deadline acquisition Juan Soto and the three teams I realistically think can make a trade for the 23 year old megastar.
For those who don’t know Juan Soto is a 23 year old outfielder for the tanking Washington Nationals. Soto turned down a 15 year, 440 million contract offer from the nationals which signified that Soto doesn’t have a future in our nation's capital. This along with the Nats not charting a flight for Soto who was their lone all star representative (even though Soto is having a down year which really shows how bad the Nationals are) shows the bad blood between the team and Soto. With the Nationals shopping Soto and asking for a hefty return for the 2019 World Series MVP, let’s take a look at the 3 teams I realistically think could pull off an offer.
Honorable mention- Seattle Mariners
I personally think the Mainers pulling off a deal is a long shot but with young players like Jared Kelenic, Kyle Lewis and prospects like Noelvi Marte and Emerson Hancock the Mariners have the pieces to get it done but a front office who believes too highly in their future and wouldn’t be able to take on Patrick Corbin’s contract which is a big thing the Nationals are asking teams to take ( which is 2 years 59 million left on his deal) if Seattle wants to ruin the farm go for it but the farm will get them back to the promise land.
#3. Los Angeles Dodgers
Oh, I really hate that I’m writing this, but the Dodgers are my sleeper team to get Soto. With a package of Gavin Lux, Bobby Miller, Ryan Pepiot and Andy Pages could get this deal done, even if Soto is just a 2.5 year rental. The Dodgers are in a win-now phase and have a deep enough of a farm system to pull the trigger and get a perennial MVP candidate. This move also allows them to call up Michael Busch, who is the clubs 3rd ranked prospect, to play 2nd base instead of Lux who would headline the deal with future ace Bobby Miller. This is an already scary team who gets much much scarier with Soto in the lineup.
#2. San Diego Padres
The Padres are a team that’s eerie similar to the Dodgers. With a stacked young core of CJ Abrams, Mackenzie Gore, Trent Grisham and young prospects like James Wood and Robert Hassell, the Padres on paper look like a team that can both benefit from Soto in the lineup. More importantly, San Diego can meet the haul that the Nationals and GM Mike Rizzo are asking for. I can already imagine the scary 1-2-3 punch of Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis and Juan Soto. A move like this puts the Padres in serious contention for that NL West crown and a deep playoff run.
#1. St Louis Cardinals
As a Cardinals fan, when I first heard that our birds on the bat were in “serious contention” to land Juan Soto I thought it was a big joke. But, as the days go on the more and more I can see it happen. With a trade package centered around Nolan Gorman, Matthew Liberatore, and Dylan Carlson the Cardinals are sitting in the best place to both acquire and extend Soto. Likely, Mason Wynn would be thrown in this deal as well, but if it means we keep Jordan Walker and don’t have to necessarily take on Patrick Corbin’s contract then it’s a win win situation. It also allows St. Louis to go out and get a pitcher or 2 later. Soto's asking price is high, but knowing the history of the Cardinals organization this is the team who can and will pull off a trade for a megastar and it would form one of the best 1-2-3 punches of Nolan Arenado, Juan Soto and Paul Goldschmidt; taking St. Louis back to the promiseland.
Looking at all of this i still don’t see Soto being moved until the off-season when his price drops a bit but if he were to get moved before Tuesdays deadline then these are the 3 teams I see making a trade for the next Ted Williams.