2) Cardinals were unwilling to trade Jordan Walker for Juan Soto
Jordan Walker is the top-ranked prospect the Cardinals have which meant he was probably going to be required in any trade for Soto. It wasn’t meant to be. The Cardinals didn’t deliver their young and possible third baseman of the future to Washington even for Soto. If they had, maybe things would be different right now in the National League.
What does it mean for St. Louis?
Walker is a backup plan for Nolan Arenado for sure. Even if they do cross paths on the major league roster, Walker has seen action at all three outfield positions. There’s also a DH spot wide open in the coming years for him to get some at-bats if the Cardinals roster did eventually include him and Arenado on it.
Because he is such a high-profile prospect and there isn’t anyone other than Ohtani that would make sense to trade him away for, we can come to the conclusion that St. Louis might really like him.
It wouldn’t be so ridiculous for Walker to even end up moving off of third base permanently. He hasn’t excelled defensively in the minors at the position. Left field could be his ultimate destination.
Wherever it is he ends up playing in the major leagues, the Cards have shown their—uh—cards. They want to keep him around.