There is no precedent for what we could see in less than 36 hours. John Soto from Nationals is the rarest player on the trade block due to his youth (23 years old), controllable years (two after this one) and historic talent.
Naturally, there are plenty of contending teams that would love to add Soto to increase their chances of reaching the playoffs and possible World Series this season, as well as in 2023 and ’24. But which one, if any, will be the club that makes an offer Washington can’t refuse before Tuesday’s 6:00 p.m. ET deadline?
To help us understand the chaos and magnitude of the Soto sweepstakes, SI MLB writers answered the following question: Which team will Soto play for on August 3rd? Here’s what they said:
One of four teams never to win the World Series, Fathers everyone is in and now is not the time to be cautious. No team is a better fit for a deal based on need, motivation and potential capital. San Diego has the worst outfield OPS this year and in franchise history. The deal could include CJ Abrams and McKenzie Gore — a steep price, but three games with Soto, Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr they are worth it.
Washington. I know there’s a lot of smoke going on here and the Scott Boras “three pennant races” thing has gotten around, but I just don’t see why it makes sense for the Nationals to be in the middle of the season. They will want a pool of top prospects as well as major league talent, and most of the teams trying to win can’t afford to give up major league talent in August. It seems better for a potential return if Washington waits until the winter, when, for example, a team with an attractive young player could sign a free agent to replace him, thereby making the kid available. Then every potential challenger is a potential trading partner.
Scroll to Continue
The Nationals. By January 1st, I believe we’ll have a different answer, but before the deadline…I think the price is so (understandably!) high that the team won’t be able to make a deal. The return for louis castle shaped my thinking on this a bit as well – if the norm this summer is set by a pull prospect like this Sailors waived for Castillo, well, how do you even begin to conceptualize the package for a young generational talent with as much remaining team control as Soto? This winter the price will be high. But talking about Soto’s two-season price tag instead of two-and-a-half would probably change the calculation enough that the team would be willing to jump in a way that just isn’t true right now.
Laws of the will
I thought the Mariners were in a good position to pitch, but after giving up the draft for Luis Castillo, that seems less likely now. It also makes Washington’s return in any deal for Soto even more difficult to envision. But I think AJ Preller, in his seventh full season in San Diego with only one playoff appearance during his tenure, is paying the price to bring Soto to San Diego.
I know the Mariners just traded four of their top prospects to the Reds for Luis Castillo and I know they will have to give up even more for Soto. Still, I still think he’ll play the next three games with Seattle. Of all the contending teams, the Mariners are the best matchup when you consider that they have enough quality prospects that the Nationals would want in return, the salary flexibility to extend or re-sign him, and the obvious need to improve their offense, especially with a powerful left-handed hitter.
Unlike the Mariners, the Padres may have a hard time signing Soto to a long-term deal after previously extending Fernando Tatis Jr. and signing Manny Machado to mega-deals, and they are reportedly close to extending the right-hander’s contract hand Joe Musgrove for five years and about 100 million dollars. The Yankees and Dodgers need to add more pitching than hitting, though Soto would surely make each of them the favorite to win the World Series. The Cardinals need tilting more than the Yankees and Dodgers. As for Washington’s return, Seattle could send a package that includes some of the following top prospects and talented young big leaguers: George Kirby, Matt Brash, Kyle Lewis, Harry Ford, Jared Kelenich, Emerson Hancock and Lazaro Montes.
That’s exactly the kind of move the Dodgers make, right? Given the caliber of player we’re talking about here – and the fact that whichever club acquires him will do so for the next three after the season – the cost to make a deal for Soto will be huge (even if the Nationals appear to be backed into a corner with no choice but to trade him). This pick reflects the belief that there simply aren’t many teams that have demonstrated the ability and, perhaps more importantly, the willingness to part with such a large amount of young talent if it means adding one of the game’s elite players to the big-league roster. league. Remember, we’re talking about a front office that trades Jordan Alvarez and Oneil Cruz in recent years, not to mention Josiah Gray, Keibert Ruiz and Jeter Downs, among others. Acquiring Soto will dip even further into the organizational talent well, but I expect Andrew Friedman and Co. ultimately doing whatever it takes to appease Dodger fans everywhere in landing the biggest fish of them all.
More baseball coverage:
• Castillo Trade proves the Mariners are looking at more than just ending their playoff drought
• Will Jacob de Grom have the last laugh?
• The biggest MLB trade deadline needed for any playoff contender
• The Benintendi Trade likely means the end of Gallo with the Yankees
• The Nationals have no choice but to trade Juan Soto