With less than 24 hours to go before the trade deadline, the teams in line for Washington Nationals superstar Juan Soto remain in a holding pattern, while the Yankees continue to call the Nats just to say, “What’s up?” from the back of the pack.
According to insider Jon Heyman, the Yankees remain interested in Soto (of course), but seem to be a complete non-factor in the current negotiations that predominantly involve the St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers. Though the temptation to pair Soto with Aaron Judge is tremendous, the Nationals reportedly don’t see eye-to-eye with whatever the Yanks are floating.
"To their chagrin, to this point there’s no traction on talks regarding Soto — who they’d love. While they checked in as recently as Sunday, it appears the Nats are focused elsewhere. Word going around is the Nats only see Anthony Volpe, the Yankees’ top prospect, as a very good major-leaguer, not the star others do. Anyway, the Cardinals and Padres have been seen as the most logical landing spots, with the Dodgers and Rangers perhaps on the next tier. The Yankees may not even be on any tier."
Could that all change this offseason, though, if the Yankees and Judge continue to clash on his future value? Clearly, the Yanks have passed the first hurdle, understanding how valuable Soto would be in the Bronx. If the Padres, Cards and Dodgers strike out and don’t manage to impress Washington, the Yankees could be let back into this thing over the winter if a Judge pairing turns into a Judge gap.
Yankees Rumors: NYY could aggressively pursue Juan Soto trade after 2022
The main issue here: if the Nationals only “like” Volpe, but don’t “like like” him, will there ever be a match? Would a Gleyber Torres-Volpe-Jasson Dominguez centerpiece help quell Washington’s apparent worry over their Volpe assessment, or would that just read as a “pu pu platter” in the place of prime rib?
If it’s young big-leaguers Washington wants, the Cardinals can offer Dylan Carlson and Nolan Gorman, though neither is aligned well with DC’s long-term timeline. If it’s pitching, the Dodgers can overwhelm the Cardinals while still maintaining depth at every level. If it’s a little of column A, a little of column B, the Padres can put together a more-than-respectable offer.
But the Yankees keep nagging. And if they can just nudge the proceedings to the offseason, they’ll have a much better shot at filling out a deal if their worst fears are realized with Judge’s new contract.
Or is that … the fans’ worst fears? Would the Yankees just … prefer Soto, in any case?
As long as this can gets kicked down the road long enough, the Yankees can reengage in earnest. Maybe they pull off another swap with a third team to add a prospect name that Washington’s in love with. Maybe this whole “Volpe” thing is just midseason smoke.
Either way, there’s almost no chance the Yankees trade for Soto this week, but if talks stall, don’t count them out for a 2023 blockbuster.