Juan Soto could be calling another city home ahead of the Aug. 2 MLB trade deadline. As you already know, Soto has been placed on the trade block after declining to sign a 15-year, $440 million extension with the Washington Nationals.
With the Nationals now listening to offers, reports suggest that the Los Angeles Dodgers are among the teams in on the generational talent.
Los Angeles’ interest is not too surprising. It is a consistent World Series contender and continues to find itself with a payroll among the tops in baseball as a larger-market organization.
With Soto under team control through his arbitration season of 2024, he’s not simply going to be a rental. A team like the Dodgers would technically have him for three playoff runs before the Scott Boras client potentially hits free agency. That can’t be lost in this. With all of that said, let’s check in on how a Soto trade to the Dodgers might look.
Related: Ideal Juan Soto trade scenarios
Projecting a Juan Soto trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers have made it clear that they won’t rule out a franchise-altering deal ahead of the Aug. 2 MLB trade deadline.
The Dodgers make sense as a potential landing spot for Soto. There’s multiple reasons for this. Chief among them, these Dodgers boast the fifth-best farm system in baseball, per MLB.com.
Washington’s asking price is said to be a minimum of five top prospects. They also want MLB-ready talent. These Dodgers can offer that up.
Another aspect to look at here is the Max Scherzer blockbuster trade from the Washington Nationals to Los Angeles last season. Obviously, the Dodgers and Nationals front offices have a nice working relationship.
The aformentioned deal sent catcher Keibert Ruiz and pitcher Josiah Gray as headliners making their way to D.C. This is interesting in that Ruiz’s presence could force Washington to look in another direction outside of top Dodgers prospect, catcher Diego Cartaya.
Then again, the Nationals might simply demand Cartaya in a package while sifting through what to do down the road. He’s currently playing Single-A ball.
- Washington Nationals trade: Juan Soto, Patrick Corbin
- Los Angeles Dodgers trade: Diego Cartaya, Gavin Lux, Bobby Miller, Ryan Pepiot, Jose Ramos
Washington is pushing for any team acquiring Juan Soto to take on Corbin’s bloated six-year, $140 million contract. It’s in this that the Dodgers and their league-high $260.9 million payroll would be able to handle said contract. In the process, Los Angeles is able to avoid sending more prospects the Nationals’ way.
As it is, the aforementioend Cartaya headlines a package heading back to D.C. in this hypothetical Juan Soto trade. The inclusion of young infielder Gavin Lux would be a boon for a now-rebuilding Nationals squad.
- Gavin Lux stats (2022): .292 average, 4 HR, 24 RBI, .795 OPS
At just 24, Lux could end up being a cornerstone for the Nationals. Right now, he’d project as the team’s starting second baseman next to shortstop Luis Garcia. He’s also under team control through the 2026 season.
Los Angeles’ No. 2 prospect, Bobby Miller is currently pitching at Double-A and could make an arrival in the bigs next season. The former first-round pick from the University of Louisville is currently MLB’s No. 57 overall prospect. The young starter has struck out 84 batters in 70.1 innings at Tulsa this season.
However, Ryan Pepiot might be the true wild card heading back to the nation’s capital in this hypothetical trade. The 24-year-old starter has been exceptional in limited action with the Dodgers — pitching to a 1-0 record with a 2.76 ERA in four starts. He’s also struck out 19 batters in 16.1 innings. Pepiot would immediately become a member of the Nationals’ rotation.
To close things out, Washington also adds a potential replacement for Soto down the line in that of Jose Ramos. The Dodgers’ 14th-ranked prospect, Ramos is dominating Single-A pitching to the tune of a .263 average with 19 homers and 72 RBI in 83 games. He’s a five-tool prospect and could end up being a true star at the next level.
As for the Los Angeles Dodgers, adding Juan Soto to the mix would make them the legit odds-on favorite to win the World Series for the foreseeable future. Imagine him in a lineup with Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Trea Turner, Will Smith, Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger. That’s just insane.
This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.