The Washington Nationals are not required to trade Juan Soto.
They’re telling teams they’ll transfer the 23-year-old outfielder, who has 2.5 years left before he becomes a free agent, only if it makes sense for them now and in the future.
National players need not only promising players, but also major league talent.
You can acquire all the top 100 leads you want, but some of them just won’t pay off. You also need proven players, although the Nationals would prefer them to be young enough that they are not yet eligible for salary arbitration rights.
Oh, and if you don’t mind, can you take starting Patrick Corbin’s contract out of the hands of the Nats? He has $70 million left in his six-year, $140 million deal.
The Nationals reported it all to the teams, and yet seven teams, including three from the NL West, came to the fore and told them of their strong desire to acquire Soto.
“Whoever gets Juan will benefit immediately from a player who is historically great,” said Scott Boras, Soto’s agent, “and is in his prime.”
And there is not a soul who would not agree.
Here are the current seven teams that league executives say have actively begun trade talks with NAT.
FAULT? The Nationals refused to charter Soto for the Home Run Derby, so he took a commercial flight.
WHAT’S NEXT: Soto Turns Down $440 Million Offer From Nationals, Future Is MLB All-Star Game Talk
It has been 21 years since they made the playoffs, the longest active drought for any major sports team in North America. They entered the All-Star break having won 14 straight games and 22 of their last 25 games. They will play a three-game series against the Astros this weekend, all of which are sold out. They say the serve is their top priority, but Soto can hide a lot of serve flaws.
“We’re tempting fate if we don’t help,” general manager Jerry Dipoto told reporters from Seattle. “You will pay premium prices, that’s part of it. When you’re in the position we’re in, you have to take that into account.”
Can you imagine the core of Julio Rodriguez, Ty France and Soto?
Sailors may be the most aggressive applicants.
San Diego Padres
Come on, you know GM AJ Preller is salivating at the thought of adding Soto. Of course, they already have two $300 million players with Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado. They still want to re-sign ace Joe Musgrove. But no one is saying they have to sign Soto just to go to $60 million arbitration over the next two years.
They’ll likely have to turn down young pitcher Mackenzie Gore and valuable prospects Robert Hassell III and infielder CJ Abrams, but when you have the chance to win your first World Series title in franchise history, you don’t worry about the prospects.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants lost their star power when Buster Posey retired after last season, and indeed since Barry Bonds retired after the 2007 season. They tried to trade Giancarlo Stanton, but he vetoed it. They offered $310 million to Bryce Harper, who went to Philadelphia instead. They could wait for Aaron Judge from Northern California, but they have to compete with the Yankees for his services.
Why not overpower the nuts with a package of prospects starting with Marco Luciano and Luis Matos and keep adding until the nuts say yes?
The Giants realize that if they don’t catch him, they could run into him many times if he lands with the Dodgers or Padres.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers can certainly meet the Nats’ demand for prospects with their deep and talented system without batting an eyelid.
And oh, they love their stars. They traded for MVP right fielder Mookie Betts. They traded for All-Star shortstop Trea Turner. They traded for Cy Young pitcher Max Scherzer. They signed All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman. So why not Soto?
It might take a package starting with infielder Gavin Lux and prospects Bobby Miller and Ryan Pepiot, but when you have the chance to add Soto, knowing you can pick and develop players better than anyone, prospects shouldn’t stand on their side. way.
St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals’ reputation is that they cling to their prospects as if they were automatically future All-Stars. Well, in hindsight, that certainly didn’t stop them from trading Cy Young favorite Sandy Alcantara of the Miami Marlins and Arizona Diamondbacks ace Zack Gallen for a one-year loan deal to Marcell Ozun.
Soto is much better than Ozuna and you get it for 2.5 years.
Can you imagine a mixture of outfielders from Dylan Carlson, Tyler O’Neal, Harrison Bader and Soto?
You put him on par with All-Stars Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, and you have an automatic ticket to the NL Central title and a dangerous pennant threat.
New York Yankees
They may have the best record in baseball, but guess who taunts them every time they play? Yes, those cheeky Houston Astros. The Astros have gone 5-2 against the Yankees this season, and it could well have been 7-0. The Yankees hit just .151 in seven games, their lowest single-season average against a single opponent in baseball history. Yes, they could certainly use Soto, who would also give them insurance in case Aaron Judge leaves as a free agent after the season.
New York Mets
If the Nationals want to get rid of Corbin and anyone else in order to reduce the number of potential buyers for Soto, the Mets are all for it. He promised Mets fans a World Series title in five years. This is the second year of his ownership regime. They will definitely stick to the finish line.
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