The MLB trade deadline is fast approaching, August 2, 6 PM ET to be exact. The big question this year is where the Washington Nationals will send their star outfielder, Juan Soto.
The Nationals don’t want to trade Soto, but they more or less have to. They tried to sign him to a 14-year, $440 million contract extension earlier this month, and he turned it down. The Nationals still have the 23-year-old Soto under contract for another 2.5 years, but they need a rebuild. They currently have the worse record in baseball. They also have one of the worst farm systems in baseball. Plus, the owners are trying to sell the team.
Why would anyone, let alone the best young player in baseball, want to commit long-term to the Nationals in their current situation?
I considered the Nationals done last season when they traded All-Star shortstop Trea Turner to the Los Angeles Dodgers when he still had 1.5 seasons left on his contract. Turner won the batting title last season, the first time a player did it while playing for two teams.
The Nationals need quality prospects. Trading Soto now to a team that will have his services until the end of the 2024 season will make him more valuable in trade talks. If the Nationals wait to trade him, theoretically, he becomes less valuable because there will be less time on his contract.
Whatever team trades for Soto will not only be getting a dominant player, they will get an even greater person. Juan Soto is a good dude.
It’s official. Juan Soto is now a member of the San Diego Padres.
The Padres gave up a lot to get him.
So as it stands right now:
San Diego gets:
CJ Abrams (No. 1 on our Padres prospect list, No. 11 overall)
Robert Hassell III (No. 3/No. 41)
James Wood (No. 4/No. 66)
Jarlin Susana (No. 8)
Eric Hosmer (maybe)
— FanGraphs Baseball (@fangraphs) August 2, 2022