The St. Louis Cardinals swung and missed in the Juan Soto sweepstakes and the team’s backup plan will likely flood the Mississippi River with tears.
Juan Soto is on his way to San Diego after Padres GM A.J. Preller pulled off a blockbuster deal for the Washington Nationals’ All-Star outfielder. The Friars will now field a lineup featuring Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Manny Machado.
In return the Nats received a boatload of prospects plus left-hander MacKenzie Gore. It’s fair to say that both teams got what they wanted out of the deal. But while you might be able to call both the Padres and Nationals winners, the same cannot be said for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Cardinals Juan Soto backup plan will flood the Mississippi River with tears.
St. Louis was in trade discussions for Juan Soto up until the very end. The Cardinals, along with the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers were the favorites to land Soto all along.
St. Louis did not want to give up right fielder Dylan Carlson in a potential trade with Washington. So the Nationals eventually broke off talks with President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak and the rest is history.
With Juan Soto now off the table, St. Louis appears content to turn their attention to a bat and maybe depth behind the plate. According to Katie Woo of The Athletic, a bat and/ or catching depth tops the Cards’ wishlist as the deadline approaches. Woo also cites pitching as something St. Louis may try to acquire as well.
This is likely Yadier Molina’s last season and Andrew Knizner hasn’t shown that he’s ready to take over the reins. It’s doubtful the Cardinals would go after Willson Contreras from their division rival, but maybe Oakland’s Sean Murphy could be available at the deadline.
The St. Louis Cardinals missed a golden opportunity to land a once-in-a-generation type of talent in Juan Soto. It may have cost the Cardinals a lot in terms of prospect capital, but having Soto in St. Louis during Albert Pujols final season would’ve given the Cardinals a good chance to send the future Hall of Famer out on top.