The first-place Los Angeles Dodgers opened a set with Juan Soto and the Washington Nationals in Southern California Monday evening.
There’s an obvious backdrop here. With roughly a week to go before the MLB trade deadline, the 23-year-old Soto finds himself on the block. This comes after the reigning MLB Home Run Champion turned down a 15-year, $440 million extension offer from Washington.
It goes without saying that the generational talent would be linked to a Dodgers team that boasts the largest payroll in baseball. Los Angeles also has the necessary assets to pull off a blockbuster trade of this ilk.
Fresh off a four-game sweep of the hated San Francisco Giants, Dodgers President Andrew Friedman sat down and spoke with the local broadcast during Monday’s game against Washington. He didn’t hold back in pretty much admitting that the Dodgers are interested in Soto.
There’s an interesting backdrop to this entire thing. As Soto was announced with his Nationals teammates inside Dodger Stadium, fans could be heard cheering him.
Much like during last week’s All-Star Game, they also chanted “future Dodger” in Soto’s direction. He had a response to that after the aforementioend All-Star Game in Southern California.
“It sounds pretty fun. But at the end of the day, I’m glad they’re cheering for me, I don’t mind whatever they say. They’re saying something good, so I’m just enjoying it,” Juan Soto on chants from Dodgers fans.
Los Angeles Dodgers interest in Juan Soto not muted
Existing in the second-largest media market in the United States, Los Angeles has the cash to not only acquire Soto but sign him to a massive contract extension. Friedman himself touched on this in the recent past.
In the midst of an eight-game winning streak, Los Angeles promises to be active ahead of the trade deadline. Whether that means meeting Washington’s sky-high asking price in a Soto trade remains to be seen.
The Dodgers’ top-two prospects in that of catcher Diego Cartaya and pitcher Bobby Miller would likely have to be involved in a trade. The Nationals are also demanding Major League talent with a ton of team control remaining. Shortstop Gavin Lux seems to fit that mold as does pitcher Ryan Pepiot.
This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.