Juan Soto Trade Likely Comes Down to Five Teams

2022 T-Mobile Home Run Derby
2022 T-Mobile Home Run Derby / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

The Washington Nationals appear set to trade 23-year-old superstar Juan Soto. The two sides have failed to reach an agreement for a long-term contract extension, which has put the Nats in the unenviable position of having to deal a potential future Hall of Famer. The return for Soto is likely to be the largest in MLB history, but only a few teams will be able to match the price.

Likely Juan Soto trade destinations

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers have the young players/prospects to get a deal done and the financial might to believe they can ink Soto long-term. LA can start a package with former top infield prospect Gavin Lux, and several top 100 prospects. Catcher Diego Cartaya (No. 13) right-hander Bobby Miller (No. 26), and outfielder Andy Pages (No. 47) would certainly be on Washington's wish list. Infielder Manuel Vargas (No. 70) and righty Ryan Pepiot (No. 75) could also be thrown in to sweeten things if there's a bidding war.

Perhaps more than any other team, the Dodgers are equipped to make a Soto deal immediately, while also feeling confident they can beat any offer for a long-term contract.

Seattle Mariners

The Mariners have a loaded farm system and a major league roster that appears ready to compete now. Adding Soto to a lineup that includes All-Stars Julio Rodriguez and Ty France, plus Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez. Seattle would be dealing from a position of strength and could dangle three top 100 prospects: shortstop Noelvi Marte (No. 19), catcher Harry Ford (No. 68), righty Matt Brash (No. 91), plus righty Emerson Hancock and the recently-promoted George Kirby.

If the Mariners are serious about contending in the AL West over the next few years, this is a deal they should absolutely make.

New York Yankees

The Yankees might wind up losing Aaron Judge after this season. Snagging Soto would not only give them a boost this season, but a replacement for their marquee slugger as well. New York has the prospect capital to get a deal done, including five top-100 prospects. Shortstop Anthony Volpe (No. 8) and outfielder Jasson Dominguez (No. 39) figure to be part of any deal, while catcher Austin Wells (No. 71) and lefty Ken Waldichuk (No. 72) could also be moved. But the Nationals would likely also ask for infielder Gleyber Torres in any deal. The 25-year-old has had a big bounce-back season, boasting 15 home runs and an OPS of .808 so far.

It would be really tough for the Yankees to part with Volpe, but it would be worth it to land Soto, especially given that the Yankees could afford to sign him long-term.

San Diego Padres

The Padres are another team that could easily satisfy the prospect capital required for a deal. Recently-graduated former top-10 prospects MacKenzie Gore and C.J. Abrams figure to be the centerpiece of any trade. The Nats could also choose between outfielder Robert Hassell III (No. 23), catcher Luis Campusano (No. 54) and outfielder James Wood (No. 90). San Diego also has some solid players just off the top 100 list like 2021 first-round pick Jackson Merrill and lefty Robert Gasser.

The question for San Diego is whether two-plus years of Soto would be worth unloading that much. If the Padres could agree to a deal pending an agreement on a long-term extension, it's likely worth doing. A long-term trio of Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado would be the best in baseball.

St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals have a lot of young talent they could move in a deal. One of St. Louis' young outfielders, Dylan Carlson or Tyler O'Neill, figures to be heading the other way to open a spot. Meanwhile, recently graduated infielder Nolan Gorman and a few top prospects would likely join the deal. Third baseman Jordan Walker (No. 7) and lefty Matthew Liberatore (No. 45) would almost certainly have to be included.

The Cardinals have made bold moves for All-Stars before. They unloaded three young players and a draft pick for Paul Goldschmidt in December of 2018, and five players for Nolan Arenado in February of 2021. This would be no different and would give St. Louis yet another cornerstone.