The Washington Nationals have reportedly made outfielder Juan Soto available in trade talks ahead of the August 2 deadline.
There are plenty of suitors (at least seven, and potentially more), but one organization is seemingly in pole position to acquire the talented slugger.
The St. Louis Cardinals have the need for Soto, the young major leaguers, and the exciting prospects to pull off a deal, according to MLB insiders.
“Rivals believe that the Cardinals are a ‘potential front-runner’ to trade for Juan Soto, per @JonHeyman, @Joelsherman1,” B/R Walk-Off tweeted.
— B/R Walk-Off (@BRWalkoff) July 24, 2022
The Cardinals may not be the wealthiest team in baseball, but they can afford Soto if they want.
The package of players they can offer the Nationals in exchange for Soto makes them the early favorites for a deal.
What Can The Cards Offer The Nats?
They have power-hitting rookie infielder Nolan Gorman, top prospects Jordan Walker and Masyn Winn, and team-controlled outfielders Dylan Carlson, Tyler O’Neill, and Harrison Bader, among other potentially impact players.
That should be enough to push the 51-46 Cardinals over the Milwaukee Brewers, who currently have a 2.5-game advantage in the NL Central.
Soto, 23, is not having his best season, yet it’s better than most hitters in the National League anyway.
His .245/.401/.484 slash is good for a .886 OPS, and he has 20 home runs.
He is projected to eclipse his career-high of 34, established in 2019.
Can the Cardinals pull off the trade and turn themselves into serious World Series contenders?
We will find out in the next few days.