Possible Juan Soto packages at Trade Deadline

Possible Juan Soto packages at Trade Deadline

Recent reports suggest that there are three clear front-runners – the Padres, Dodgers, and Cardinals — to land Juan Soto in a trade before the Deadline passes at 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday. With that in mind, we asked our reporters coverings those clubs to make an educated guess at what a trade package for the Nationals’ superstar might look like.

For most general managers, trading for someone like Josh Hader would be enough for one Trade Deadline, but A.J. Preller is not most GMs when it comes to making trades, which means San Diego can’t be ruled out on Soto.

And if the Nationals are looking for some combination of young Major Leaguers and high-upside prospects, the Padres have both in abundance. The 21-year-old Abrams was a Top 10 overall prospect who was forced into early action in the big leagues this season when Fernando Tatis Jr. went down. Lately, he has started to hold his own against big league pitching, and he boasts some truly elite tools – notably his quick hands, his speed and his steady glove. Though the Padres say MacKenzie Gore’s elbow strain isn’t serious, it’s possible the Nationals pivot their ask to another 23-year-old lefty in Morejon.

As for the rest of the package, Hassell’s ceiling is sky high, but the prospect centerpiece of this deal might actually be Wood – a 19-year-old left-handed-hitting outfielder who boasts a rare blend of size and athleticism. Standing 6-foot-7, Wood is hitting .321 in his first season of pro ball with a 1.004 OPS. And he’s done it while swiping 16 bags and playing a solid center field (though he projects as a corner outfielder in the long run). The Padres have been reluctant to include Wood in any deal – but this is Juan Soto we’re talking about here. — AJ Cassavell

Trading a young player like Lux, who is having a breakout season at the plate, would be the difficult decision for the Dodgers. Dustin May is also a possibility, but the Dodgers will likely rely heavily on him down the stretch. One of those two players would be the most likely candidates to fulfill the “young big leaguer” item on Washington’s wish list.

Outside of Lux or May, the Dodgers have a deep farm system, one the Nationals know well following the blockbuster trade last July for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner. In order to get a superstar like Soto, the Dodgers would have to part ways with Cartaya and Miller. Cartaya is considered a future star and trading him would be a loss. But that’s the price you have to pay for a guy like Soto. Outman is ranked 17th in the organization by MLB Pipeline, but he homered in his first big league at-bat on Sunday, putting together one of the best debuts in Dodgers history. Did that raise his stock? It sure didn’t hurt. — Juan Toribio

To get a generational player like Soto with two-plus seasons of control, the Cardinals are likely going to have to give up a combination of young Major League talent and some of their top prospects – something the franchise has shown a reluctance to do in years past. The Cardinals do not want to give up 20-year-old Walker, and that hesitancy is likely why a deal has yet to be done.

In order to keep Walker out of the deal, the Cardinals likely would have to include starting center fielder Dylan Carlson (under club control through 2026) and No. 4 prospect Masyn Winn (ranked No. 87 overall by MLB Pipeline), a shortstop with a 100 mph fastball from the middle of the diamond.

In either scenario, the Cardinals likely would also have to surrender the promising power of second baseman Nolan Gorman, who banged 15 home runs at Triple-A Memphis before being called up to the parent club and hitting 11 more home runs in his first 58 MLB games. The cost would be a steep one, but it will likely be worth it considering that St. Louis would have three shots at World Series runs with Soto batting in the middle of a lineup that also features Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado. Undoubtedly, the lefty slugger would see more strikes than he’s seen this season and he would potentially be the franchise’s next superstar for a decade. There’s also a push in St. Louis for the organization to land a difference-making piece to help retiring stars Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina make one more deep playoff run in the fall. Don’t underestimate the value that Pujols being on the roster – a mentor of Soto’s for years – could play in this potential trade. — John Denton

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