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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Exploring Juan Soto Trades – No matter how far fetched

The trading deadline got a little more mysterious this past weekend when The Athletic reported That Washington outfielder Juan Soto turned down a $440 million, 15-year contract offer to stay with the Nationals.

All of a sudden, social media began to talk about Soto’s business, and what incredible offerings could be made to acquire it.

A deal involving the 23-year-old superstar would be seismic given his talent, his youth and the fact that he is not due to be a free agent until after the 2024 season. Any team considering getting Soto will have to weigh how likely he is to be there, but even his 2 1/2 years can be of considerable value.

These are the moments for which online trading simulators were, and BaseballTradeValue.com Maybe Saturday was getting a lot of hit. The site tries to figure out a player’s value by keeping an account of his contract status. For example, Soto’s business value (his estimated on-field value minus salary) is listed on the site as $193.7 million, only for Vander Franco ($286 million), Ronald Acuna Jr. ($221.2 million) and Jose Ramirez ($209 million). is behind. All in baseball.

So when using the site’s business simulator, the goal is to strike a deal in which citizens receive roughly $193.7 million in value in exchange for Soto. Let’s have some fun with this.

For the purposes of this exercise, we will assume that all no-trade clauses will be waived as necessary. All possible rankings are from MLB Pipeline, and the business value figures in parentheses are in the millions:

Deal No. 1: Soto ($193.7) for SS Marcelo Meyer ($55.4), 1B Trison Cass ($39.7), RHP Brian Bello ($28.8), RHP Tanner Hawk ($27.1), 2B Nick York ($25.2) and SS for Red Sox Xander Bogarts ($22).

If a player like Soto is available, you immediately start thinking of the wealthier teams that are already in contention – franchises that can quickly benefit from adding him and have the tools to retain him in the long run. There are tools for The Dodgers and Yankees fit that description, but they only have one top-25 prospect.

In the deal, Boston will leave numbers 10, 14, 44 and 64 prospects — and Bogarts, a four-time All-Star, who could become a free agent later this season. If Washington thinks it can increase it, will such trade make sense?

Deal No. 2: Soto ($193.7) for the Cardinals of Dylan Carlson ($72.8), 3B Jordan Walker ($61.6), 2B Nolan Gorman ($32.4) and of Tyler O’Neill ($28.3) for the Cardinals.

Walker is likely to finish ninth of the game, and Carlson and Gorman are high draft picks who have reached the big leagues but are not yet 24. O’Neill hit 34 homers last year.

Deal No. 3: Soto ($193.7) for Tigers Co Off Riley Green ($72), 1B Spencer Torkelson ($64.1) and LHP Tariq Scoble ($55).

Washington will receive baseball’s No. 1 prospect (Green), top pick in the 2020 draft (Torkelson) and a 25-year-old (Schubble) who has shown promise in the majors. Detroit struck a deal like this when it acquired Miguel Cabrera, but it only worked out because the Tigers were able to keep him longer. There is no point in bringing them to Soto unless they are prepared to spend the money to capture him.

Deal No. 4: Soto ($193.7) to Giants for RHP Logan Webb ($79), SS Marco Luciano ($54.3), LHP Kyle Harrison ($39.2) and OFF Luis Matos ($19.3).

San Francisco is back on Earth after its 107-win campaign a year ago, so maybe the Giants will want to reboot with Soto. In the deal, they will have to trade two top-25 prospects and an impressive young pitcher to Webb, but if they can keep Soto they will have a long window to build a decent roster.

Deal No. 5: Soto ($193.7) to the Padres for 2B Jake Cronenworth ($54.5), SS CJ Abrams ($52.1), LHP Mackenzie Gore ($42.4) and Robert Hassell III ($38.7).

Even though Soto was only in San Diego for a few years, he has a tempting idea to team up with Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado. And the Padres can afford to relocate Abrams because of the presence of Tatis. Whether this package is enough to move the needle for Washington is another matter.

Deal No. 6: Soto ($193.7) to RHP Yuri Perez ($68.8), LHP Trevor Rogers ($61.6), Jesus Sanchez ($31.5) and RHP Max Meyer ($29) to Marlins.

It sounds far-fetched, in part because Miami is in the Washington division, but if the Marlins want to shed their reputation as a franchise that lets go of superstars, there’s no time like the present. The price numbers line up for this trade, and Miami can pull it off, while there is still a hub of Sandy Alcantara, Jazz Chisholm and Pablo López waiting to play alongside Soto. The Nationals get two top-25 prospects in Perez and Meyer, as well as two 24-year-old big leaguers in Rogers and Sanchez.

Deal No. 7: Mike Trout for Angels ($115.7), Taylor Ward’s ($59.3) and LHP Reed Daters ($21) for Soto ($193.7).

Now we’re in fantasyland – or are we? After largely ruining a decade of Trout’s greatness, will the Angels hit the reset button by dealing him seven years younger to another star outfielder? Trout has a big contract of his own, but if the Citizens were willing to give Soto one, perhaps they would be willing to pay Trout and hope he can play well into his 30s at MVP level Huh.

And last but not least, a bonus deal for those of you who like to watch the world burn:

Soto ($193.7) Phillies for Bryce Harper ($70), RHP Mick Abell ($28.2), SS Bryson Stott ($26.7), RHP Andrew Painter ($25.8), 3B Alec Bohm ($23.1) and LHP Ranger Suarez ($20.4).

week line

Clayton Kershaw retired the first 21 batsmen and bowled eight innings of a hit ball as the Dodgers beat the Angels 9-1 Friday night.

return of the week

The Dodgers had a tough time in their win on Wednesday. They went 6-0 down in the seventh before rallying to a 7-6 victory., His chance of victory was 0.7% According to Baseball Savant, two outsiders and none on top of the seventh.

Will Smith hit a two-run homer in that innings. In the eighth, Mookie Bates hit an RBI double and Tree Turner added a two-run single. Max Muncie hit a sacrificial fly in the ninth, and Hanser Alberto eventually put Los Angeles ahead with an RBI single.

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