The Cardinal is the favorite in the Juan Soto Trade Lottery

The St. Louis Cardinals, who own a group of high-profile young players, are seen by competitors as the favorites to win superstar Juan Soto.

The Mets and Yankees are among at least six teams believed to have checked in. But there is no early sense that any of the New York team is at the forefront of the talks. A few suitors have been told that the Nats are focusing on one or two teams at the moment, and some believe the Cardinals in the group are getting early attention. The Mariners are another team that is seen early on as having a chance in this derby.

The folks at NATS are refusing to comment at this time, though one NL executive said of the Cardinals’ chances here: “Good ranch system.”

Nats is an organization that relies heavily on scouts, and there is a word that many young Cardinal players and their prospects love. The Cardinals line up for what the Citizens want — not just prospects, but really manageable young players in the majors. Among the top players in the major youth leagues are Dylan Carlson, Harrison Bader and Tyler O’Neill, as well as players Nolan Gorman and Brendan Donovan. Third baseman Jordan Walker, Maasin Wayne Short, and bowler Matt Liberator are among the top prospects in the sport.

The Cardinals emerged as potential candidates to land on Juan Soto.

The Cardinals have the kind of quality bits they make so they don’t have to take back a “bad” contract. There are rival teams who think the Nationals would also like to have Patrick Corbyn offload as part of a deal. Corbin, who owes $59 million for 2023-24, has 5.66 ERA in 62 starts since the start of the 2020 season.

Soto’s 2022 salary is $17.1 million, and that alone wouldn’t discourage any interested team.

In addition to the Cardinals and the New York teams, the Dodgers, Padres, Giants and Mariners are among other teams believed to be showing interest. The Post first reported the interest of the New York team. Bob Nightingale of USA Today initially announced several other teams, and suggested two days ago that they were all about to bid. Here is a summary of the Seven Well-Known Hopes:


They have an impressive supply of position players, which the Nats desperately need and St Louis in need of a boost in what has been a disappointing start to the season. The Cardinals’ biggest need is to start promoting, but this could be an opportunity that’s hard to miss. Third star Nolan Arenado also has a year-end withdrawal.


Aggressive Padres could do that because they also had outstanding guys like the short CJ Abrams, Mackenzie Gore bowlers, Adrian Morragon and Ryan Withers, and backs James Wood and Robert Hussle III, who drew extra attention in the futures game. The Post reports that Fernando Tates Jr. is not the type they would show. Padres was deep in negotiations with Max Scherzer and Tria Turner last year, but in the end he didn’t match the Nats.

Juan Soto
Juan Soto
Getty Images


As usual, the Dodgers have young players and prospects, including court players Gavin Lux and Michael Busch and bowlers Bobby Miller and Ryan Peyt. They’ve shown a penchant for opportunity in recent years and were able to seal a Scherzer-Turner deal last year with Nats, who focused on catcher Keibert Ruiz, which paid off for them.


Two of the top potential players are short guys – Anthony Volpi and Oswald Perazza. There are no global high scores for defensive player Jason Dominguez, who participated in the Futures game. The Yankees have a bunch of talented, semi-major arms ready for the league, including Rafael Medina, Ken Valdichuk and Will Warren. It’s possible that with the recent court injuries to Luis Severino and Michael King, the Yankees are focusing more on throwing, particularly Cincinnati’s Luis Castillo.


The Mets’ best prospect is catcher Francisco Alvarez, one of the spots the Nats don’t really need after acquiring Ruiz last year. The biggest problem is that they’re based in the NL East, and it’s hard to imagine Washington wanting to face Soto more often in the next two and a half years – or more likely because the Mets can extend it given Steve Cohen’s generosity.


They clearly have the desire to break their two-decade streak. Soto could have paired with Julio Rodriguez, who beat him in the Home Run Derby Finals, to work out an impressive 1-2 punch. They have talented young pitchers like George Kirby, Emerson Hancock, Matt Brach and one of the top potential players in Noelfi Martí.


They previously tried hard with Giancarlo Stanton and Bryce Harper so that they would have the interest. Odds like Marco Luciano, defender Heliot Ramos, and bowlers Kyle Harrison and Will Bednar aren’t bad but they may not be able to match cards and a couple more.

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