Washington citizens do not have to trade Juan Soto.
They are telling teams they will only transfer the 23-year-old defender – who has two and a half years left before he becomes a free agent – if it makes sense for them now, and in the future.
The Nationals are seeking not only the best players, but also the talent of the major league.
You can have all the top 100 clients you want, but some simply don’t work out. You want proven players as well, although the Nationals prefer them young enough that they don’t qualify for salary arbitration rights just yet.
Oh, and if you don’t mind, can you pull the novice Patrick Corbin contract out of the Nats’ hands, too? He has $70 million left in his $140 million six-year deal.
The Nationals have voiced it all to the teams, and seven teams – including three from NL West – still jumped to the front and told them they wanted a Soto.
“Everyone who welcomes Juan will receive an immediate benefit from a historically great player, at his prime,” said Scott Borras, Soto’s agent.
And no soul will differ.
Here are the seven current teams that have actively opened business talks with the NATS, according to league officials.
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It’s been 21 years since they went through the playoffs, the longest active dry spell by any major North American sports team. They entered the All-Star break after winning 14 consecutive games, and 22 of their last 25 games. They play a three-game series this weekend against the Astros as they sell out every game. They say their top priority is promotion, but Soto can hide a lot of promotion flaws.
“We’re doomed if we don’t help,” Jerry DePoto told reporters in Seattle. You’ll pay premium prices, and that’s part of it. When you’re in the situation we’re in, you have to think about it. ”
Can you imagine a kernel of Julio Rodriguez, T-France, and Soto?
Sailors may prove to be the most aggressive of the suitors.
San Diego Padres
Come on, you know GM AJ Preller drools at the idea of adding Soto. Sure, they already have two players worth $300 million on the books with Fernando Tates Jr. and Mane Machado. They still want to re-sign ace Joe Musgrove. But no one is saying they have to sign Soto, only to go to arbitration with him over the next two years, at a cost of up to $60 million.
They’ll likely ditch young bowler Mackenzie Gore, respectable prospects Robert Hassell III and C.J. Abrams, but when you stand a chance of winning your first World Championship title in franchise history, don’t worry about prospects.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants lost their star power when Buster Posey retired after last season, and really, since the departure of Barry Bonds after the 2007 season. They tried to trade for Giancarlo Stanton, but he objected. They offered $310 million to Bryce Harper, who went instead to Philadelphia. They can wait for Aaron Judge, who is from Northern California, but they have to compete with the Yankees for his services.
Why not beat Nats with a probability pack that starts with Marco Luciano and Luis Matos, and keeps adding until Nats says yes?
The Giants realize that if they don’t get him, they could face him multiple times if he goes down with the Dodgers or the Padres.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Dodgers can certainly satisfy Nats’ demands for top customers with their deep and talented system, without blinking.
Do they love their stars? They traded for right MVP Mookie Betts. They traded for All-Star Trea Turner. They were traded for Cy Young Pitcher Max Scherzer. They signed their first base star Freddy Freeman. So why not Soto?
It might take a starting package from player Gavin Lukes and featured promotion prospects Bobby Miller and Ryan Piot, but when you get the chance to add Soto, knowing you can craft and develop players better than anyone else, expectations shouldn’t stand in their way.
St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals’ reputation is that they cling to their horizons as if they were an all-star robotic future. Well, if you look back, that certainly didn’t stop them from trading favorite Cy Young’s Sandy Alcantara of the Miami Marlins and Arizona Diamondbacks ace Zac Gallen for a one-year lease on Marcell Ozuna.
Soto is much better than Ozuna, and you get it for two and a half years.
Can you imagine a player combination of Dylan Carlson, Tyler O’Neill, Harrison Bader, and Soto?
Throw it in with All-Star Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado players, and you have an automatic ticket to the NL Central title and a serious threat to win the pennant.
New York Yankees
They may have the best record in baseball, but guess who bullies them every time they play? Yes, those feisty Houston Astros. The Astros went 5-2 against the Yankees this season, and it could easily have been 7-0. The Yankees have averaged just 0.151 in all seven games, their lowest batting average in a season against a single opponent in baseball history. Yes, they could definitely use Soto, which would also give them insurance should Aaron Judge be cut as a free agent after the season.
New York Mets
If citizens want to get rid of Corbin, and anyone else to reduce the number of possibilities to buy Soto, the Mets are all there. Steve Cohen, the richest owner in baseball with a net worth of $15 billion, knows the deal when he sees it. He promised the Mets fans the world title in five years. This is the second year of his property regime. They will definitely hang out to the finish line.
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