2022 MLB Trade Deadline Picks: Where Will Juan Soto Be Playing?

The Washington Nationals are in last place in the National League. The team is third worst in Major League Baseball. Washington has a record of 23-31 and a winning percentage of .359. With that, it’s no surprise there has been talk about the Washington Nationals trading their star outfielder, Juan Soto.

The 23-year-old Soto has been with the Nationals since 2018. He has a career average of .292, 111 home runs, 340 RBIs and 536 hits in 527 games played with Washington. Soto made $545,000 in his first year in the majors. In 2021, he signed a deal worth $8.5 million for one season. His 2022 deal is once again a one-year contract. That deal is worth $17.1 million.

Soto, who is widely considered the best hitter in the National League, reportedly rejected a 13-year deal worth $350 million last summer, instead preferring to sign single-year deals until he hits unrestricted free agency. That will happen ahead of the 2025 season.

Earlier this month, Nationals president Mike Rizzo said the team was not interested in trading Soto and that the intent was to build around him in the future.

While the team might not want to trade him right now, complicating things is ownership is looking to sell and new ownership might not have the same plans. There’s also the possibility that a suitor could put together a hard to resist deal for Soto’s services. Another worry is if the Nationals will be able to afford an asking price of $500 million or so when he hits free agency.

Before we look at where Juan Soto will be playing after the 2022 MLB trade deadline,  check out our guide on World Series Betting, as well as the best sites for betting on MLB in 2022. 

Who Juan Soto Plays For After 2022 MLB Trade Deadline picks

Washington Nationals-2000
San Francsisco Giants+1000
Los Angeles Dodgers+2000
Seattle Mariners+2000
Toronto Blue Jays+2500
New York Yankees+2500

San Francisco Giants

The San Francisco Giants are 35-26 this season. The team is currently trailing the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres in the NL West. Last season the Giants had the best record in baseball, going 107-55, but they fell in the first round, losing to their division rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Giants would love to add Soto to the roster and they might have some help in doing so.

It seems as if Soto is friends — or at least very friendly — with Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford and his family.

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Los Angeles Dodgers

If the San Francisco Giants are going to pursue Soto, you can bet that their rivals down the coast, the Los Angeles Dodgers, are going to do everything they can to prevent that from happening. The Dodgers payroll is a close second to the MLB leading New York Mets in 2022, but I don’t think that would prevent the team from forking over the dollars it will take to get Soto at the deadline, especially if it gives the Dodgers a leg up on the Giants.

The Dodgers are second to the Mets in the National League standings right now. If Los Angeles thinks Soto would give it a chance to win the NL and the World Series in 2022, the team would make that trade in a heartbeat.

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Washington Nationals

The Nationals have a decision to make. That decision is if they are willing to pay Juan Soto upwards of $500 million after the 2024 season. If they are not, and that’s a big ask for any team, but especially one who has a payroll of $129.48 million in 2022 ($58 million of which is tied up in Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin). If the Nationals aren’t going to pay Soto, they need to trade him. The question then becomes, when do they trade him? If the Nationals are going to trade Soto, every day that his free agency gets closer is a day that his trade value decreases for the team.

Soto’s value is still incredibly high, but the Nationals need to have a date in mind where they think that value flips to the buyer side of the equation.

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Our pick

I think the Nationals will trade Soto before he becomes a free agent and I think they will do that well in advance of the end of the 2024 season. However, that’s still a long time away. I think the Nationals keep Soto and I see him ending the 2022 season in Washington and starting the 2023 season there. Things could change once new ownership gets involved and I don’t think we will have a clear picture on Soto’s future until then.

Pick: Juan Soto will be on the Washington Nationals roster after the 2022 MLB trade deadline.

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Trent Reinsmith

Trent covers UFC and MMA for MTS. He currently covers MMA for MMA Junkie and Forbes. He has also written for Vice, Bloody Elbow, Fight! Magazine, UFC 360, and Narratively among others. He has been involved with MMA since he and some friends threw some money together to purchase the pay-per-view of UFC 1, and the rest is history.