If the Washington Nationals are going to trade Juan Soto, they need to aim for a package of this magnitude.
Listen. I understand not wanting to trade Juan Soto. He’s only 23 and already has a career bWAR of 21.1. Since he made his MLB debut in 2018, Soto has become a two-time all-star named to the All MLB-First team twice and the second time once, while winning a batting title and two silver sluggers. Most importantly, he was instrumental in the Washington Nationals winning the 2019 World Series. Superstars with two and a half years left of arbitration don’t hit the trade market for a reason.
Should the Washington Nationals trade Juan Soto? Only if they believe that’s the only option. The National’s front office should wait until the end of the season, finalize selling the team, and then have the new owners sit down and start discussions with the superstar. But keep in mind that Soto’s value will never be higher and they risk missing out on a franchise-changing return.
Teams are obviously excited at the chance to land Soto, but should be forced to pay an arm and a leg in return. It was reported last week that the Nationals are setting the price and not negotiating — as they should be. Add what the Mariners gave up for Luis Castillo and the Nats should be aiming for a king’s ransom. Going off of some of the teams that MLB executives believe could land Soto, here are some projected trade proposals that Washington should be asking for.
The Rangers have been connected to the Nationals, but should be seen as longshots due to lacking the young MLB-ready talents that some of the main contenders can offer. Top prospect Jack Leiter would be the main prize for Washington, but the 22-year-old has battled injuries dating back to his time at Vanderbilt. And when he has been healthy this season he’s struggled — going 2-8, with a 6.24 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 53 1/3 innings at AA. The Ranger’s second-ranked prospect Josh Jung also has injury concerns adding risk to the Nationals’ potential return.
Juan Soto is making $17 million in arbitration this year and that number is only going to go up the next two years. A small/mid-market team, the Brewers have other key players in arbitration to worry about. Despite just being signed to a five-year extension, a potential package could be built around Aaron Ashby and their top prospect Jackson Chourio.
New York Mets
Yes, the Mets have the top prospects to get a deal done(Álvarez, Baty, Mauricio, Ramirez), but it doesn’t matter. Due to being in the same division as the Nats, New York would have to double their offer to get Washington to even think about working with their rival.
The Mariners were seen as favorites but just traded three of their top five prospects for Luis Castillo. It is very unlikely they still have the ammo to get a Soto deal done.
New York Yankees
After trading for Andrew Benintendi, New York has turned their eyes toward pitching.