Washington Nationals: Trade Proposals For Juan Soto
By Max Rayman
St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals have never been shy when trading for superstars — with Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado coming to mind. They have a top farm system and the potential capital to pull off a blockbuster trade, but the question arises — will they be willing to meet the Nationals asking price?
The Cardinals have an advantage over most teams when it comes to a Soto deal — they have a stacked farm system plus plenty of young MLB players with multiple years of service left. It is super unlikely for the Cardinals to agree to ship out all three of Dylan Carlson, Nolan Gorman, and Jordan Walker and the Nats will most likely have to settle with two of the three.
Any Soto trade with the Cardinals has to start with top prospect Walker. Ranked the 7th best prospect per MLB Pipeline, the 20-year-old is slashing .304/.391/.498. with 10 homers, 41 RBIs, and an OPS of .889. He has a solid hit tool and absurd power — leading to him projecting as a middle-of-the-lineup bat.
The Cardinal’s second-ranked prospect Matthew Liberatore has struggled this season at AAA and in the majors — so Washington should set their focus on one of the younger players on the Cardinals roster — starting with outfielder Dylan Carlson and infielder Nolan Gorman. Carlson is only 23 and has four years of control left, while Gorman is a year younger and has six years of control. Carlson
A natural third baseman, Gorman is blocked by Arenado and has been solid defensively at second — posting one DRS and a 0.8 UZR. In 52 games with the Cardinals, he’s hitting .234, with nine homers, 22 RBIs, and an OPS of .743. He needs to work on his strikeouts (59), but has flashed his power potential. With holes at second and third, Gorman would immediately slot in for the Nats.
Currently their fourth-ranked prospect, shortstop Masyn Wynn has been shooting up the Cardinal’s farm system thanks to his 80-grade arm.
Rounding out the trade is RHP Gordon Graceffo, the Cardinal’s fifth-ranked prospect. He started the season at A+, posting an 0.99 ERA with 56 strikeouts in 42 1/3 innings. His dominance led him to be promoted to AA — where he is 5-2, with a 3.38 ERA, and 47 strikeouts. Utilizing a four-pitch mix, Graceffo projects to be a mid-rotation starter — with his mid-late 90s fastball leading the way.
Is this a lot? Yes. But the Cardinals would be getting Soto for at least three playoff pushes and would have the offensive firepower to compete with the top teams in the NL.