The Chicago Cubs are not in on Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto. Why is that the case?
The Washington Nationals are poised to trade outfielder Juan Soto for what would be one of the biggest trade packages in MLB history.
And the Chicago Cubs are nowhere in sight for a deal, as the finalists are reportedly the St. Louis Cardinals (the Cubs’ divisional rival), the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the San Diego Padres.
But why aren’t the Cubs involved in trying to trade for Juan Soto?
Why aren’t the Cubs involved in trying to trade for Juan Soto?
29 MLB teams would love to have Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto but only a few teams have the prospects to be able to do it. The Chicago Cubs are one of those teams, as they have four prospects in MLB.com’s Top 100. But even that might have been enough to get Soto … which is the first reason why they aren’t in on him.
Of those four prospects, only one of them is above High-A ball (top prospect Brennan Davis). The Nationals want prospects in the higher minor leagues that are MLB-ready or very close to that or even young MLB talent. The Cubs do not have that. They are on pace to lose 97 games and their Triple-A team is 44-54. They don’t have much talent in general in either place right now, unfortunately.
They made some bigger signings (Marcus Stroman, Seiya Suzuki, etc.) this past offseason to try to take a step forward but obviously, that hasn’t worked. That’s why they are sellers themselves.
Willson Contreras is a free agent at the end of the season so it’s easy to see why he will be traded but they are heavily shopping outfielder Ian Happ. Happ isn’t a free agent until next offseason. In other words, the Cubs are telegraphing that they don’t believe that they are going to be contenders next season either.
Do they want to give up their entire farm system for two-plus years of Soto and still be a team that would lose 85 games or more? That’s essentially what it boils down to for the Cubs.
Until their prospects are further along and/or they spend more money on their team (their payroll is down more than 30 percent from 2019), they aren’t going to be in the playoff picture and, therefore, have no reason to trade for Soto.