Potential Cardinals leader in Juan Soto draw


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The St. Louis Cardinals, which have a group of respected young players, are viewed by rivals as a potential candidate for superstar Juan Soto.

The Mets and Yankees are among at least half a dozen teams believed to have registered. But there is no sign that any of the New York teams are at the forefront of the negotiations. Some fans have been told that the Nats are currently focused on one or two teams, and some feel that the Cardinals in the group are drawing attention early on. The Mariners are another team that got early chances in this derby.

Nats representatives declined to comment for now, though one NL executive said of the Cardinals’ chances here: “Good truss system.”

The Nats are an organization that relies heavily on scouting, and rumor has it that they like many of the Cardinals’ young players and prospects. The Cardinals are queuing up for what the Nationals want—not just up-and-coming prospects, but young, driven players already in the majors. Their top young major league players include outfielders Dylan Carlson, Harrison Bader and Tyler O’Neal, as well as infielders Nolan Gorman and Brendan Donovan. Third baseman Jordan Walker, shortstop Macin Wynn and pitcher Matt Liberatore are some of the sport’s top prospects.

The Cardinals became possible contenders for Juan Soto.

The Cardinals have quality stuff to offer so they don’t have to turn down a “bad” contract. There are rival teams who believe the Nationals would also like to opt out of Patrick Corbin’s contract as part of the deal. Corbin, who is owed $59 million for 2023-24, has a 5.66 ERA in 62 starts since the start of the 2020 season.

Soto’s 2022 salary is $17.1 million and that alone won’t deter any interested team.

In addition to the Cardinals and two New York teams, the Dodgers, Padres, Giants and Mariners are among other teams thought to be showing interest. The Post first reported the interest of the two New York teams. Bob Nightingale of USA Today first reported on many of the other teams and suggested a couple of days ago that they should all apply. Here is a summary of the seven notable contenders:


They have a terrific supply of positional players that the Nats badly need and the St. Louis need reinforcements after a disappointing start to the season. The Cardinals most need to start the pitch, but this could be an opportunity hard to pass up. Star third baseman Nolan Arenado also withdrew at the end of the year.


The aggressive Padres could do this as they too have quality youth such as shortstop CJ Abrams, pitchers Mackenzie Gore, Adrian Morejon and Ryan Weathers, and outfielders James Wood and Robert Hassell III who have attracted additional attention in the game. futures. According to The Post, they would not have offered Fernando Tatis Jr. Last year, the Padres were in talks for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner, but were ultimately unable to match the Nuts.

Juan Soto
Juan Soto
Getty Images


As usual, the Dodgers have young players and prospects, including fielders Gavin Lux and Michael Bush, and pitchers Bobby Miller and Ryan Pepiot. They’ve shown a flair for risk in recent years and were able to land a Scherzer-Turner deal with the Nats last year that focused on catcher Cabert Ruiz, which paid off for them.


Two of their top prospects are young shortstops Anthony Wolpe and Oswald Peraza. There are no universally high ratings for outfielder Jason Dominguez, who hit a home run in the Futures game. The Yankees have a group of talented, near-major league-ready fighters including Rafael Medina, Ken Waldichuk, and Will Warren. It’s entirely possible that the recent pitching injuries of Luis Severino and Michael King have made the Yankees more focused on pitching, especially Cincinnati ace Luis Castillo.


The Mets’ top prospect is catcher Francisco Alvarez, one of the positions the Nuts don’t really need after acquiring Ruiz last year. The bigger issue is that they reside in the NL East, and it’s hard to imagine Washington wanting to meet Soto so often in the next 2.5 years – or likely a lot more, as the Mets can obviously afford to extend it. given the generosity of Steve Cohen.


They clearly have a desire to break their two-decade-long streak without playoffs. Soto could have teamed up with Julio Rodriguez, whom he beat in the Home Run Derby final, to form a stunning 1-2 strike. They have talented young pitchers such as George Kirby, Emerson Hancock and Matt Brush, as well as prospective shortstop Noelvi Marte.


They used to work really hard for Giancarlo Stanton and Bryce Harper, so they have interest. Prospects like shortstop Marco Luciano, outfielder Heliot Ramos and pitchers Kyle Harrison and Will Bednar aren’t bad, but might not be able to match the Karts and a couple of others.

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