In June it looked like Juan Soto would remain with the Washington Nationals through the 2022 Major League Baseball Trade Deadline. Sure, Soto had turned down a reported 13-year-deal worth $350 million before the lockout, but that offer was, more or less, just a starting point for a more serious offer to follow. That more serious offer came earlier this month when the Nationals presented Soto with a 15-year-deal worth $440 million. Soto rejected that offer. And that’s when the team began to consider trading Soto.
The 23-year-old Soto is playing on a one-year-deal worth $17.1 million this year. Soto, who turns 24 in October, becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2025. He is eligible for arbitration for the 2023 and 2024 seasons, but if he does not intend to sign an extension with the Nationals — and his rejection of the latest offer seems to indicate that is his plan — each day that passes, the Nationals have less leverage on their side of a trade.
Soto has a .245 batting average, a .405 OBP and a .490 slugging percentage this season with 20 homers and more walks (83) than strikeouts (59) this season. Over his career, which began in 2018 in Washington, he signed with the team as an international free agent in 2015, Soto is a career .291/.426/.539 hitter, which makes him one of the best batters at his age in MLB history.
Juan Soto trade picks: MLB trade deadline 2022
|Juan Soto's Destination if Traded|
|San Diego Padres||+200|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+300|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+325|
|New York Mets||+500|
|New York Yankees||+650|
|San Francisco Giants||+900|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+1000|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+1200|
|Boston Red Sox||+1400|
San Diego Padres
The San Diego Padres are 10.5 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the standings. The team is going to improve soon as Fernando Tatis Jr. is making his way back to the lineup. Tatis has not played this season after breaking his wrist before the 2022 MLB season began. Tatis signed a 14-year-deal worth $340 million with the Padres in 2021.
The Padres also have Manny Machado locked up until 2028. Machado inked a contract for 10 years and $300 million with San Diego in 2019.
The Padres want to not only catch the Dodgers, but surpass them and the team is not afraid to spend the money to do that. San Diego also has the pieces it can send to Washington to make the Nationals happy with what they get in return for Soto.
St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals are three games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central and the team is very interested in adding Juan Soto to its roster before the 2022 MLB trade deadline.
The Cardinals are reportedly offering Nolan Gorman as part of the trade to Washington. Gorman might be the most attractive player being offered up. Gorman is in his first year with the Cardinals. The second baseman is hitting .223 with nine home runs, 22 RBI’s and OBP of .299 and an OPS of .710.
Tyler O’Neill is also reportedly part of the package the Cardinals would offer. The 27-year-old outfielder is hitting .233 this year with five homers and 33 RBIs.
Los Angeles Dodgers
If there’s a big-name player available, you can bet the Los Angeles Dodgers are going to be in the market for that player. With that, of course, Los Angeles is in the mix for the services of Juan Soto.
The Dodgers have been a trade destination for big name players like Mookie Betts, Max Scherzer, Trea Turner, Manny Machado and Yu Darvish over the past few years and they would love to add Soto as well.
Money does not seem to be a concern for the Dodgers, who have the top payroll in MLB in 2022 at $261 million. The team also has one of the best farm systems in the league and with that they will be able to provide the Nationals with a plethora of young and rising players in exchange for Soto.
In pure volume, the Dodgers might be hard to beat in what they offer Washington in a trade.
Again, there is no guarantee that Juan Soto will be traded before the 2022 MLB trade deadline, but if he is, I think the Los Angeles Dodgers are going to be the team to land him. They have the money, the players and the desire to make this trade happen.
Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers to trade for Juan Soto.
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