Juan Soto‘s days in D.C. appear to be numbered.
The 23-year old All-Star has reportedly rejected a 15-year, $440 million offer from the Washington Nationals. The NL East ballclub is now open to fielding trade calls, per multiple reports.
And per those same reports, the team at the top of the list to land him in a blockbuster trade… the St. Louis Cardinals, per R.J. Anderson of CBS Sports.
This is almost certain to age poorly, but yes, we think the Cardinals have the clearest path of any team to acquiring Soto. They’ve won out on Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado in recent seasons, and have taken swings on Francisco Lindor, among others, demonstrating that they have the appetite and willingness to make a blockbuster addition. The Cardinals also have the ability to offer a package that includes some combination of Jordan Walker, Masyn Winn, Dylan Carlson, and Tyler O’Neill, among others. Additionally, they’ll have Goldschmidt’s contract coming off the books after the 2024 season … or right when Soto’s extension would crank up to cover his free-agent years. It’s possible Soto would prefer to play on a coast, but shy of that, Mike Rizzo should direct one of his first phone calls about Soto to the Cardinals.
It’s no secret that trading for Soto would be a massive deal for both teams. For Washington, who have the worst record in all of baseball (31-63), landing top 100 prospects from any organization would be a long-term boost towards building for the future.
For St. Louis, considering the lineup and defense they already have, adding him would be the icing on the cake.
Soto, one of the top young stars in all of Major League Baseball, was a huge contributor to the Nationals winning their first World Series title in 2019. He’s hit .292 with 117 home runs and 354 RBI’s, and is a multiple time Silver Slugger Award winner, and a two-time All-MLB First Team.
With Arenado, Goldschmidt, Tommy Edman, Harrison Bader, and more future pieces, the Cardinals are a prime landing spot. Add in the leadership of Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina, who are in their final seasons of their Hall of Fame careers, and you have a team perfect for Soto to make a long-term impact on one of the most historic franchises in sports.