The MLB trade deadline is almost upon us.
August 2nd is the last day players can be traded, and no bigger player is on the market than 23-year old All-Star and Home Run Derby champion Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported last week that Soto rejected a 15-year, $440 million deal from the Nationals, who currently have the worst record in all of Major League Baseball.
Among the teams interested in Soto, per reports, include the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, and Seattle Mariners.
Just how good is Soto in 2022?
Well, even though he is in the midst of arguably his worst full season in the Majors, he is STILL 62% better than a league average hitter, as measured by OPS+. Meanwhile, his on-base percentage is down 60 points from 2021, and is still better than .400. Yeah, that’s pretty good.
It’s no secret that the price for Soto is high. And while the Cardinals have plenty to offer Washington for a trade… do they feel it’s worth it?
BaseballTradeValues.com is a website whose function is exactly as advertised — by evaluating years of control, projected value using wins above replacement, and dollars owed to a player, the user can generate a (very) rough sketch of what teams may look at internally when considering swapping one player for another.
In the case of the Cardinals pursuing Soto, some of their top prospects almost certainly will be involved.
Baseball America just released their Top 100 Prospects list, and the St. Louis Cardinals have more than enough player capital to complete a deal. Third baseman Jordan Walker, ranked eighth, would be a headline piece in any package. Other players/picks included could include Matthew Liberatore (No. 36), shortstop Masyn Winn (67), outfielder Alec Burleson (75), pitcher Gordon Graceffo (76), catcher Iván Herrera (90) and pitcher Tink Hence (95).
If a trade with Soto gets done, it’ll be the biggest trade the Cardinals have made since they traded for Lou Brock back in 1964. And with a lineup consisting of Soto, Nolan Arenado, and Paul Goldschmidt, the Cardinals would become one of the most dangerous teams in all of baseball.