Washington Nationals: MLB Execs Name 13 Possible Juan Soto Trade Destinations
By Max Rayman
13 teams are viewed as potential landing spots for Juan Soto. The Washington Nationals will have their hands full over the next week.
When it was first announced that the Washington Nationals were open to trading Juan Soto for a king’s ransom, the usual suspects as possible suitors came to mind. Yankees. Dodgers. Mets. Behind the big spenders, the Cardinals, Mariners, and Padres all make sense due to their many top 100 prospects. Now it has been reported that the Nationals are telling teams what they want and aren’t negotiating (as they should). As the deadline gets closer, it wouldn’t be surprising if someone finally caves and meets Washingtons’ demands. But who?
MLB’s Mark Feinsand recently polled 17 anonymous MLB front office executives on where Soto will land, leading to 13 possible locations.
"Padres 8Dodgers 7Cardinals 3Mariners 3Mets 3Rays 3Yankees 3Giants 2Blue JaysBrewersCubsRangersRed Sox"
The Cubs, Rangers, Red Sox, Brewers, Rays, Giants, and Blue Jays all being on this list is somewhat surprising. The Cubs and Rangers both have losing records — sitting at 38-57 and 43-51 respectively. Chicago in particular seems like multiple years away from seriously contending and is expected to be sellers at the deadline. While the NL Central is more wide open than the NL East, acquiring Soto doesn’t make much sense — especially after factoring in that he wants to win. The Cubs are in a similar situation to the Nationals — facing what could be a long rebuild.
The Rangers just spent over $500 million this past off-season on Corey Seager and Marcus Semien. Would they be willing to pay the raising arbitration cost for Soto? And while the Rangers have some top-tier prospects led by Jack Leiter, it seems unlikely they will be willing to empty the cupboard.
Usually seeing Boston as a potential suitor for a superstar makes sense — until factoring in that they have two key free agents of their own to worry about. Xander Bogaerts is set to hit free agency this year with Rafael Devers set to follow him the following year. Keep in mind, that Boston’s top prospect is shortstop Marcelo Mayer and a long-term insurance plan for Bogaerts. Trading for Soto would more than likely cost them Mayer — throwing a wrench into a potential deal.
The Brewers are in the middle of their contention window, led by one of the best rotations and bullpen in the majors. The offense has been holding them back and could drastically use Soto’s bat. But as a small-middle market team, they may not be able to pay his rising arbitration salary.
Outside of extending Wander Franco, Tampa has never been known for spending money. They face the same worry as the Brewers when it comes to Soto’s rising arbitration salary — plus their farm system isn’t what it once was.
San Francisco has lost five straight and six of their last 10. With so many holes on their roster, it doesn’t make sense for them to mortgage the farm for one player. Even then, they lack the system compared to the favorites.
Similar to San Francisco, Toronto has more pressing needs than landing another superstar bat. While adding Soto would give Toronto one of the best offenses in baseball, they are in dire need of rotation help. Outside of Alex Manoah, Ross Stripling, and Kevin Gausman, the rest of the rotation has been a hindrance. Toronto would be better off trading for multiple starters for their stretch run.
The Rest Of The Potential Suitors
The Padres receiving the most votes isn’t surprising due to their recent history of splurging and being in the same division as the Dodgers. The Padres would love to team Soto up with Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado to form one of the most powerful middle lineups in the majors. They also have the prospect capital to get a deal done — highlighted by outfielders Robert Hassell iii and James Wood. San Diego also has multiple young players who just started their service time in MacKenzie Gore (just landed on the IL) and C.J. Abrams.
The Cardinals should be seen as the favorites due to their history of trading for superstars and mix of elite prospects and young controllable players. St. Louis can offer a package of Nolan Gorman and Dylan Carlson, plus prospects Jordan Walker, Masyn Wynn, and Gordon Graceffo.
The Mets are the least likely team to land Soto despite having plenty of intriguing prospects led by MLB Pipeline’s number two overall prospect, Francisco Álvarez. Being in the same division means that unless the Mets give up even more than the asking price, a deal won’t be reached.
Rounding out the 13 suitors are the Yankees and Mariners. Each has its eyes set on a deep playoff run and would love to bolster its lineup. New York can offer Anthony Volpe and Jason Dominguez plus Gleybor Torres and if it came to it, Nestor Cortes Jr. While the Yankees may be unwilling to part with so much, they have what it takes to get a deal done. Seattle President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto is trade-happy and has a deep farm system to work from.