And just like that, it’s widely believed the Washington Nationals will be trading Juan Soto before this year’s trade deadline, which will create arguably the biggest frenzy fans have ever seen in late July/early August.
It’s been talked about at length, but the New York Yankees, even though it would require some serious heavy lifting, potential drama with the face of their franchise, and then a half-billion dollars later down the road (unless they simply re-sign Aaron Judge and let Soto walk after 2024), figure to be among the teams that will be involved and have a legitimate shot due to their farm system depth.
Now, before this goes any further, just know that this isn’t the Yankees’ style whatsoever. General manager Brian Cashman has been unwilling in recent years to go above and beyond to better a rosters on the brink of World Series contention because he didn’t want to surrender too much young, valuable talent.
Soto, however, is very much a different kind of talent, especially since he’s controllable through the 2024 season and, at 23 years old, is arguably the best hitter in the game. If you have capable players around him, it’s worth the risk for the next 2.5 years. Your team is likely an auto championship favorite assuming the roster was built semi-competently.
That’s why, while is seems unlikely the Yankees would make a move of such magnitude, they cannot be ruled out. With Judge’s contract situation, their prospect capital, and current standing in 2022, they will be considered a threat until somebody else officially makes the move.
This will be unlike any other trade proposal you’ve seen, though. This will take top prospects, young major league talent and possibly a contract-eating situation (if the Nats are serious about dumping Patrick Corbin or Stephen Strasburg in this hypothetical deal).
This mega trade package could bring Juan Soto to the Yankees
ESPN’s Buster Onley called the Yankees the “usual suspects” since they’re always lurking and usually possess the necessary ammo to pull off a deal. However, it’s believed the Padres and Rangers could be the favorites here. Sorry, Mets fans, but there’s belief the Nationals do not want to trade Soto within the division.
Thanks to SNY, though, there’s a decent framework to utilize in determining what the Nationals are probably looking for. And it’s aggressive! This one will hurt … but you’ll be getting a 23-year-old Ted Williams for 2.5 years. Seems like a fair trade. Just gotta win the World Series and all is well.
- OF Juan Soto
- No. 1 prospect Anthony Volpe
- No. 3 prospect Jasson Dominguez
- No. 4 prospect Austin Wells
- No. 5 prospect Ken Waldichuk
- No. 23 “prospect” JP Sears
- 2B Gleyber Torres
Based on the Mets’ proposal above, we’d liken Tylor Megill to Sears and Jeff McNeil to Torres. Then you have four of the organization’s top-five prospects. As for someone like Wells, the Nationals do have catcher Keibert Ruiz, who they received from the Dodgers last year in the Max Scherzer-Trea Turner blockbuster, but they can transition him to first base/left field (he played both of those positions a bit in college) or utilize him as a DH. Volpe, Dominguez and Waldichuk speak for themselves: potential shortstop of the future, center fielder of the future, and ace of the future.
Then, the Yankees would plop Soto in left field for the time being with Judge under contract, and if Judge doesn’t re-sign, Soto could go back to right field in 2023. If Judge stays, Soto will likely stay in left and undertake some right field duties if Judge plays some center, gets reps at DH or has days off. With Torres gone, DJ LeMahieu would slip into second base since he’s under contract for four more seasons after 2022. Marwin Gonzalez and Matt Carpenter split duties as utility players. Not sure what more you can ask for.
That’s it, though. If you think that’s not enough, well, then perhaps this isn’t the trade the Yankees should make. If you think it’s too much, well, then perhaps you’re overvaluing prospects/undervaluing Soto’s impact. Remember, the Yankees would still have shortstop Oswald Peraza, pitcher Hayden Wesneski, outfielder Everson Pereira as well as many others with tons of potential.
There’s an argument to be had for both sides, and it’s not a fun one to have. Take it or leave it.