Trade winds are swirling around Juan Soto as it’s still unclear whether the Nationals will deal with the superstar outfielder before Tuesday’s 5 p.m. trade deadline. The market continues to change hourly based on other deals, and certainly based on countless private discussions between front office executives around baseball, and yet Soto (MLBTR’s top trade contender for deadline season ) hovers over everything. Granted, some clubs will want to explore every possibility of acquiring Soto, but waiting too long could leave this team empty-handed for other business options if Soto goes elsewhere.
The Padres are widely considered a top contender for Soto’s landfall, and are apparently willing to give up the kind of huge prospect package it will take to get Washington’s attention. According MLB Network’s Jon Morosithe Padres are “ready to discuss” names such as CJ Abrams, Robert Hassell III and Adrian Morejon with the Nationals. All three are or have been staples of the top 100 prospect lists for the past few years, although Morejon “graduated” from most prospect lists due to his MLB experience, and MLB Pipeline also removed Abrams. from their list due to its 43 major leagues. matches played earlier this season.
Given that the Nationals have been known to target younger, controllable players, either already in the majors or on the cusp of their big league debut, the Padres trio would seem to tick those boxes. That said, it’s highly likely that the Nats will want even more of San Diego’s top tier farm system (or active roster) in order to part ways with Soto, and the Padres may eventually have to up their offer in order to outbid the other suitors.
For example, the Cardinals also have a stockpile of young talent and have also been mentioned as one of the favorites to land Soto. Dylan Carlson is a name on Washington’s radar, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes the Nats “love” the outfielder.
Carlson is just 23 years old and has already made his mark on the Show, boasting above-average plate production and solid defense (both as a center fielder and right fielder). The Nationals could look to Carlson as their next outfield cornerstone, as the team would already be fairly certain he could contribute right away, while players like Abrams, Hassell or Morejon are still unproven in the field. MLB level.
On paper, the Cardinals would apparently have the depth to move Carlson in a deal with Soto, but that would leave the Cards without a reliable center back. Harrison Bader is still on the 10-day injured list with plantar fasciitis, and a setback will extend his stay for at least a few more weeks, manager Oliver Marmol has told Goold and other reporters. Bader won’t even come out of a protective right boot for another week or two, as Carlson deftly filled in the middle, St. Louis also might have to pivot to land a center fielder in another deal if Carlson is moved. An improvised combo of Lars Nootbaar and Tommy Edman in the center, for example, would not be an ideal option for a potential candidate.
As mentioned, other trades can drastically change the situation for multiple teams, and it looks like two other potential suitors for Soto are no longer involved. The Rays would have been kind of a frowning team to land Soto, but the Nationals’ demands were “beyond their tolerance“, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writing. As such, the Rays avoided the hit road and instead landed David Peralta from the Diamondbacks earlier in the day. Yesterday’s acquisition of Luis Castillo would also seemingly eliminate the Mariners from the race for Soto, as Seattle has handed out a significant chunk of its scouting capital to get Castillo from the Reds.