The question of where Juan Soto could be headed seems to be changing by the minute. I’m old enough to remember when the Cardinals were the frontrunners, now all bets are on the Padres. Tomorrow it might be the Dodgers. Or hey, he might end up in the Mets or Yankees. There are still three days to go, which in the trade-deadline world means three centuries. Anything, literally anything, can still happen.
But which are the most likely scenarios? We discuss
The Padres Are the Frontrunners Right Now
The San Diego Padres are believed to be the frontrunners in the race of Juan Soto, and it’s easy to see why the Padres think they need him. Fernando Tatis Jr. is injured, and the Padres just cannot hit. Plus, they have the prospects for a trade, which is what the Nationals are interested in.
And though the Padres are second to the Dodgers in the NL West, their expectations are also much lower than the Dodgers – let’s remember that the Padres have never won a World Series, after all. Soto wouldn’t necessarily make them overwhelming favorites, but he might just tip the scale.
But It Could Still Be the Cardinals
Just a few days ago it seemed like the Cardinals were the favorites to land Soto. And then Nats GM Mike Rizzo said that he wasn’t going to “dilute a return for any player by adding a bad contract,” which seemed like a reference to a possible deal including Patrick Corbin, who has two years and almost $60 million remaining on his contract. But just because the Padres look better right now, that doesn’t mean the Cards are out. They have other talented young players they might be willing to trade for Soto – and a possible great middle-of-the-lineup if they can land the Nationals outfielder.
Trading for Soto Sounds Like a Dodgers Thing to Do
The Dodgers are dreaming big, playing well, and a big trade for Juan Soto could cement them as the favorites for a WS title they saw slip away last year after Atlanta beat them in the NLCS.
The Yankees have been the team for the entirety of this season, but there’s no argument that a possible Juan Soto trade would make the Dodgers the odds-on favorite to win the World Series for the second time in three years. After all, the Dodgers already lead the NL in runs, imagine what they could do with Soto. More importantly, they have the talent to work with the Nationals on this deal, and a GM that isn’t averse to a big trade.
The Rangers Have the Depth
The Texas Rangers might be third in the AL West, but they have one of baseball’s best farm systems, and enough flexibility in payroll to make a possible long-term deal for Juan Soto work. Plus they really, really need outfield help. But of the teams on this list, they remain the least likely, if only because it makes no sense to give up way too much for Soto right now if they have no chance to contend. Of course, the question is, do the Rangers think they are out of contention? The Braves seemed out of contention last year, and we all know how that turned out.