What top potential suitors have to offer Nationals in a Juan Soto trade

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·8 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

What top potential suitors have to offer Nats in a Soto trade originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Nationals are well out of the pennant race, but they could play a major factor in this year’s stretch run depending on what they decide to do with Juan Soto.

Washington (32-65) has reportedly put its 23-year-old superstar on the trade block. Though Soto is still under team control for two more seasons, the Nationals’ latest attempts to sign him to a long-term deal have been rebuffed. With the Lerner family fielding offers for a team sale, the club is entertaining trade packages in case a team is willing to offer a historic package.

A player of Soto’s caliber and age hitting the trade market is an unprecedented situation and any offer the Nationals would truly consider will reflect that. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported Saturday that Washington is seeking four or five of a team’s top young players, a mix of prospects and MLB players with low service time.

PointsBet sportsbook posted betting odds for the teams Soto is most likely to play for next if he’s traded. Here are the best young players the top 10 potential suitors have to offer with grades for how much value their return packages could provide.

Boston Red Sox (10/1 odds)

Major leaguers:

OF Jarren Duran, 25 (under team control through 2027); INF Jeter Downs, 23 (2028); RHP Josh Winckowski, 24 (2028)

Prospects:

SS Marcelo Mayer (No. 10 on MLB Pipeline Top 100), 1B Triston Casas (No. 14), RHP Brayan Bello (No. 44), 2B Nick Yorke (No. 64)

Assuming Rafael Devers is off the table, the Red Sox would have to do some convincing while putting together a trade package of unproven young talent. Duran and Downs have combined for just 76 games of major-league experience while Bello and Winckowski have 10 starts between them.

The rest of their top prospects have yet to reach the majors. Mayer would have to be the centerpiece of the deal, which might not get the Nationals too excited given he’s 19 years old and still only in Single-A. Yorke has also taken a big step back this season and Casas missed significant time with an ankle injury.

Grade: D

Houston Astros (10/1 odds)

Major leaguers:

SS Jeremy Peña, 24 (2027); OF Kyle Tucker, 25 (2025); RHP Luis Garcia, 25 (2026); RHP Cristian Javier, 25 (2025)

Prospects:

RHP Hunter Brown (No. 83)

No team is better positioned to part ways with young, major-league talent in a Soto trade than the Astros. Both Garcia and Javier have thrived as starters this season yet they’re still at the back end of their deep rotation. Tucker is already flirting with a 20-20 season while Peña is an AL Rookie of the Year candidate. They rank third and sixth on the team in OPS, respectively.

The Astros’ farm system has thinned out in recent years. Brown, who is enjoying a superb season in Triple-A, is their only top-100 player. But if Houston is willing to part ways with at least three of its established young pieces along with Brown, they could make a competitive offer.

Grade: A

Los Angeles Dodgers (11/2 odds)

Major leaguers:

2B Gavin Lux, 24 (2026); RHP Dustin May, 24 (2025)

Prospects:

C Diego Cartaya (No. 13), RHP Bobby Miller (No. 26), 2B/1B Michael Busch (No. 42), OF Andy Pages (No. 47), INF Miguel Vargas (No. 70), RHP Ryan Pepiot (No. 75)

Queue the Grand Theft Auto meme: “Here we go again.” The Nationals sent two of their biggest stars to the Dodgers at last year’s trade deadline and Los Angeles is once again going to be among the most interested teams now that Soto is available. With the best farm system in baseball, they have the prospect firepower to do it.

It’s likely the Dodgers would have to include both Lux and May, both of whom were consensus top-30 prospects before reaching the majors. Busch, Vargas and Pepiot are all in Triple-A, too, so the Nationals wouldn’t have to wait long to see any of them in D.C. Los Angeles is one of the few teams capable of blowing Washington away if it’s motivated enough.

Grade: A

New York Mets (9/2 odds)

Major leaguers:

RHP Tylor Megill, 26 (2027)

Prospects:

C Francisco Álvarez (No. 2), 3B/OF Brett Baty (No. 20), SS Ronny Mauricio (No. 52), OF Alex Ramirez (No. 87)

Despite the odds assigned by PointsBet, any Soto trade involving the Mets feels unlikely given their standing as NL East rivals. That’s not to mention the fact that the Mets have no young talent currently flourishing in the majors.

Megill, who at 26 years old is a bit past the age of being deemed a prospect, is the only major leaguer worth mentioning here and he’s on the 10-Day IL with a 5.01 ERA in nine starts. Their top prospect Álvarez is MLB-ready but would have to split catching and DH duties with Keibert Ruiz. That’s a tough sell when he would be the headliner of Washington’s return. There just doesn’t seem to be a match here.

Grade: F

New York Yankees (9/2 odds)

Major leaguers:

2B Gleyber Torres, 25 (2024)

Prospects:

SS Anthony Volpe (No. 8), SS Oswald Peraza (No. 38), OF Jasson Domínguez (No. 39), C Austin Wells (No. 71), LHP Ken Waldichuk (No. 72)

When judging any offer the Yankees put on the table, the conversation must begin with how the Nationals feel about Torres. The young infielder has a 38-homer season to his name, but he struggled to replicate that success in 2020-21. While he’s rebounded so far in 2022, Torres doesn’t look like the potential MVP candidate he did a couple years ago.

The bats in their farm system may be just enough to pique Washington’s interest. Volpe has shaken off a slow start in Double-A and resumed putting up impressive totals. Peraza’s power/speed combination has him knocking on the door of the majors and Domínguez was earning Bo Jackson comps at 17. The only knock on their prospect talent is a lack of high-upside pitchers.

Grade: C

San Diego Padres (8/1 odds)

Major leaguers:

INF Jake Cronenworth, 28 (2025); SS C.J. Abrams, 21 (2028); RHP MacKenzie Gore, 23 (2027)

Prospects:

OF Robert Hassell III (No. 23), C Luis Campusano (No. 54), OF James Wood (No. 90)

The most obvious target for the Nationals in a Soto trade with the Padres would be shortstop Fernando Tatís Jr., but Tatís carries a full no-trade clause in his 14-year, $340 million extension and would be unlikely to approve a deal to D.C. That leaves two-time All-Star Cronenworth and the recently graduated prospects Abrams and Gore to be the potential headliners.

Cronenworth is 28 years old but has three and a half years of control and carries tremendous value for his versatility. Abrams and Gore have each spent time inside MLB Pipeline’s top 10. Hassell III is a first-round pick hitting well in High-A this season. They have the pieces, and a Soto trade sounds just like the type of move GM A.J. Preller would stop at nothing to make.

Grade: A-

San Francisco Giants (7/1 odds)

Major leaguers:

RHP Logan Webb, 25 (2025); RHP Camilo Doval, 25 (2027)

Prospects:

SS Marco Luciano (No. 9), LHP Kyle Harrison (No. 25), OF Luis Matos (No. 65)

The Giants have struggled to build on their success of a year ago when they won 107 games, but trading for Soto might be exactly the shot in the arm they’re looking for. Yet in order to get a deal done, they would probably have to give up their ace-in-the-making Webb, who’s been their best pitcher over the last two seasons.

Trading for Soto would completely gut San Francisco’s farm system as well. Luciano and Harrison would have to be included while Doval, the top arm out of their bullpen, is the only other piece that could really put the San Francisco’s offer over the top. While the Giants would be a good bet to make a serious extension offer to Soto if they got him, they would be staking their entire future on Soto and their ability to find value in free agency.

Grade: B+

Seattle Mariners (9/1 odds)

Major leaguers:

OF Julio Rodríguez, 21 (2027); OF Taylor Trammell, 24 (2027); RHP Logan Gilbert, 25 (2027)

Prospects:

SS Noelvi Marte (No. 19), C Harry Ford (No. 68), SS Edwin Arroyo (No. 94)

Would the Mariners really trade Rodríguez for Soto? It might be the only deal where a team wouldn’t have to give up four-plus players to get him. Rodríguez has been a catalyst for Seattle’s offense during his first MLB season, making the All-Star team and ranking among the league leaders in stolen bases. He’s every young Mariners fan’s favorite player right now.

If the Nationals can’t pry Rodríguez away, the Mariners’ best offer would have to be built around Gilbert and Marte. That’s a solid pair to build a deal around, but Trammell’s MLB career is off to a slow start and neither Ford nor Arroyo are above Single-A. It would be difficult to see a non-Rodríguez deal from Seattle stacking up with some of the other suitors’ best offers.

Grade: (with Rodríguez) A, (without Rodríguez) C+

St. Louis Cardinals (13/2 odds)

Major leaguers:

OF Dylan Carlson, 23 (2026); OF/INF Brendan Donovan, 25 (2028); 2B/3B Nolan Gorman, 22 (2028)

Prospects:

3B Jordan Walker (No. 7), LHP Matthew Liberatore (No. 45), C Ivan Herrera (No. 82), SS Masyn Winn (No. 89), RHP Gordon Graceffo (No. 100)

One of the most intriguing potential suitors, the Cardinals have plenty of young talent in the majors. Carlson, Gorman and Donovan have all been above league-average hitters this season with the former having once been top prospects. Top prospect Walker has also seen his stock skyrocket over the last year and he’s in Double-A at 20 years old.

The problem, similar to that of the Yankees, is that they don’t have much pitching to offer. Liberatore has bounced back and forth between Triple-A and St. Louis this season with little big-league success. Graceffo has put up strong numbers the last few years, but his ceiling is considered to be the middle of the rotation. It just depends on how much the Nationals like those bats.

Grade: B

Toronto Blue Jays (13/2 odds)

Major leaguers:

SS Bo Bichette, 24 (2025); C Alejandro Kirk, 23 (2026); RHP Alek Manoah, 24 (2027)

Prospects:

C Gabriel Moreno (No. 6), SS/3B Orelvis Martinez (No. 36), LHP Ricky Tiedemann (No. 63), SS/3B Jordan Groshans (No. 84)

Just as Devers and Tatís Jr. were left off the earlier lists, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. probably isn’t going anywhere. The Blue Jays still have plenty to offer, though. Starting with their trio of young All-Stars in Bichette, Kirk and Manoah. Bichette led the AL in hits in 2021 though didn’t look like himself in the first half. Kirk has easily been the best catcher in the Junior Circuit this year and Manoah has looked like a future Cy Young contender in his first two seasons.

Any deal built around two of those names should be enough to warrant serious consideration. The catcher logjam would be something the Nationals would have to work out, but it would be a good problem to have. If Toronto can swallow the pill of trading players that have already thrived for them, Soto could very well end up a Blue Jay.

Grade: A-

Editor's note: All odds are provided by our partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.