Juan Soto trade deal reaching ‘critical point.
It’s well-known that Juan Soto and the Washington Nationals have reached an impasse when it comes to contract negotiations. Likewise, it’s well-known that there are 3-4 finalists with perhaps a dark horse team in the running for a Juan Soto trade. One of those teams is the St. Louis Cardinals who have perhaps the most prospects and MLB-ready talent to offer Washington.
The Cardinals already missed out on a franchise-changing trade by focusing more on Juan Soto than Frankie Montas. Now, with this latest report from MLB Insider Jon Morosi, the Cardinals could be risking losing out on a Juan Soto trade. This would be a huge loss for them if they fail to get Soto or any other truly franchise-changing talent at this deadline. They want to maximize their championship window right now, not see it get shorter.
The Cardinals are for some reason holding onto Dylan Carlson or their top prospects from a deal for Juan Soto. I get that Carlson is a great MLB player with a ton of future. He’s only 23, in his 3rd MLB season, and can play all 3 outfield spots. He has hit 22 doubles, 6 home runs, and 31 RBI this year in 83 games. That goes with 107 OPS+ and 724 OPS. Those are very good numbers, especially considering he’s yet to his prime.
Dylan is under control until 2027, whereas Juan Soto is under control through 24′. Yet, the Cardinals have plenty of outfielders such as Tyler O’Neil, Harrison Bader, and Brendan Donovan. Bader is injured so there might be a short-term worry over who will play centerfield if Carlson is traded, but that’s a nice worry to have if it means Soto is on your team. How often does the chance to complete a Juan Soto trade come around? Not often.
The prospects Morosi is talking about are likely Jordan Walker, Mason Wynn, and Matthew Liberatore, but could include players like Ivan Herrera or MLB-regular Nolan Gorham.
The Cardinals shouldn’t worry about losing Walker as they have Nolan Arenado for the long-term at the same position Walker plays. Losing Liberatore would hurt their crumbling rotation, but Soto can help score a ton of runs. Perhaps the biggest issue is losing out on an MLB-regular 2nd baseman who’s quickly becoming a star in Nolan Gorham. Yet, the chance to win a World Series doesn’t come around often.
A Juan Soto trade would do amazing wonders for the Cardinals’ offense. It would increase their World Series odds by a huge percentage. Plus, don’t the Cardinals want to win it all in a season where 3 franchise players could potentially retire after the season? I’d think they would. It’s not like Juan Soto is a rental.
The Cardinals need to make this Juan Soto trade work out or risk losing out on a ring. They know how to draft and cultivate players. Yet, there’s no guarantee any of these players become anything close to the caliber of Juan Soto.