Juan Soto is on the trade block; rejects $440 million contract extension from Washington

chawson

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Cards have always felt like a strong contender to me. They’re not shy about blockbuster deals and they have a very good combo of young talent and guys in minors.
This one is puzzling. I’d think that three contracts above $25M would be too rich for them, and they may need to save some money/prospects for pitching with Wainwright, Mikolas and Flaherty gone soon, Hudson a little busted up and Hicks not really cutting it in the rotation. Though I agree they probably have the prospects.

Would the Nats be less apt to like a Dodgers’ package headed by Cartaya? They just traded for a top-shelf Dodgers catcher last year. I’m sure it hardly matters and Cartaya would be easy to flip.
 

BigSoxFan

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This one is puzzling. I’d think that three contracts above $25M would be too rich for them, and they may need to save some money/prospects for pitching with Wainwright, Mikolas and Flaherty gone soon, Hudson a little busted up and Hicks not really cutting it in the rotation. Though I agree they probably have the prospects.

Would the Nats be less apt to like a Dodgers’ package headed by Cartaya? They just traded for a top-shelf Dodgers catcher last year. I’m sure it hardly matters and Cartaya would be easy to flip.
Perhaps but I think they could make it work in the short-term and also think they have greater incentive than most to GFIN given the ages of Goldy/Arenado/Wainwright. But they are a peculiar case because they have a ton of young talent/prospects so they don’t need to mortgage their future. I think it ultimately would come down to their aggressiveness.

As for the Dodgers, I would be sickened in a “Durant to GS” kind of way if they got Soto but they clearly have the pieces to pull it off and the financial flexibility to make it happen. I would be scared to have a catcher as my Soto headliner given the volatility of that position but they clearly have other interesting pieces as well like Vargas. Cartaya is only in A+ ball so I don’t think adding him to Ruiz is a huge problem, especially since Ruiz hasn’t hit this year. Vargas seems basically ready for a shot at the bigs but they’re making him toil in the OF while he waits for his chance.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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STL seems like a perfect fit for Soto. Goldschmidt’s deal ends in 2024, that frees up $26M, right when a theoretical extension for Soto starts. Carlson and Liberatore seem like the kinds of players who often headline deals like this.
 

LogansDad

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STL seems like a perfect fit for Soto. Goldschmidt’s deal ends in 2024, that frees up $26M, right when a theoretical extension for Soto starts. Carlson and Liberatore seem like the kinds of players who often headline deals like this.
If they can somehow swing it without giving up Walker or Winn it would be a coup, but I assume one of those guys has to go. Walker is the higher rated prospect, but I am all in on Masyn Winn. I've watched a lot of both of them this season, and while Walker absolutely demolishes baseballs, Winn is way more dynamic and I feel like he could be on a mini-Mookie like trajectory with his combo of power/speed and SS defense (both are only 20 and playing really well in AA).
 

bosox188

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The Cardinals also have Alec Burleson, who's not in any top 100 list but has been mashing in AAA (>.200 ISO, just a 15% K rate and 143 wRC+) and is probably MLB ready. The reason he's not up is the Cardinals have no room for him. Even if he's not part of a Soto package, having him ready to plug in might make them even more willing to let a guy like Carlson or Gorman go.
 

sean1562

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If they can somehow swing it without giving up Walker or Winn it would be a coup, but I assume one of those guys has to go. Walker is the higher rated prospect, but I am all in on Masyn Winn. I've watched a lot of both of them this season, and while Walker absolutely demolishes baseballs, Winn is way more dynamic and I feel like he could be on a mini-Mookie like trajectory with his combo of power/speed and SS defense (both are only 20 and playing really well in AA).
Walker seems like the exact type of prospect you use to make one of these deals. He is blocked from being their 3B until 2028 because they have Arenado, who would probably be cheapish to sign to a brief extension when his current deal is up. If he has to move down the defensive spectrum he isn't as valuable as a prospect anyway.

edit: I have done no research but it also seems like elite defensive 3B tend to age better than most other players. I feel like Arenado is a guy that will still be pretty valuable in his mid to late 30s off defense alone. The Cardinals do like to keep on to their old stars so they may be inclined to keep Arenado around until he retires if he is still a mediocre offensive 3B with good defensive skills. He is at 5 bWAR through 88 games and is on a clear HoF trajectory for a 3B.
 
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BigSoxFan

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These are just beat writers spitballing (I think) and not necessarily based on any insider info (or maybe they are!) but they seem aligned with what I’d expect:

https://www.mlb.com/news/juan-soto-trade-fits
Interesting to me that many of these speculative Soto trade articles seem to be leaving the Sox out of it. Obviously doesn’t mean anything. Also, I can’t imagine the Yankees trading Gleyber, Cortes, Volpe, Jasson, and Waldichuk for a guy they don’t really need if they re-sign Judge. That one seemed pretty steep to me.
 

Murderer's Crow

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Interesting to me that many of these speculative Soto trade articles seem to be leaving the Sox out of it. Obviously doesn’t mean anything. Also, I can’t imagine the Yankees trading Gleyber, Cortes, Volpe, Jasson, and Waldichuk for a guy they don’t really need if they re-sign Judge. That one seemed pretty steep to me.
There was a longer athletic article that seems to have been taken off their page or I can't find it that ranks all 30 teams likelihood to trade for Soto

Edit: It was CBS

https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/juan-soto-trade-rumors-ranking-the-other-29-mlb-teams-on-their-chances-of-landing-nationals-star/

Tier 5: Big-market contenders, but ...
8. Astros
7. Blue Jays
6. Red Sox

Soto would make sense for any of these three teams -- all competitive and based in major media markets -- but we wonder if their front offices would be willing to commit to the contract terms he'd demand. The Astros and Red Sox are both generally managed by former Rays execs who have either traded or waved farewell to the likes of Mookie Betts, George Springer, and Carlos Correa in recent seasons in lieu of handing out massive extensions. (You can argue that Soto is on another level, but those players aren't exactly chopped liver.) The Blue Jays, meanwhile, are led by former Guardians executives who have shown a willingness recently to hand out big contracts, but who presumably have eyes on extending their own collection of young stars, including Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette. Would they have enough money to do both, or the detachment to opt for Soto over them? We're open to the possibility, but unsure.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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I am all aboard the Soto train, and am realistic about the price. But this is off a bit IMO. The value of prospects doesn't lie in the chance that they will be HOFers. It's that they will, hopefully, be productive, above average players for a very cheap salary, allowing you to offset the part of your roster who are no longer in the cost-control portion of their career. So while Marcelo Mayer is highly, highly unlikely to be as good as Juan Soto, he doesn't have to be in order to be just as valuable, for the start of his career. anyway.

Put another way, if you had a guy whom you could somehow guarantee would have the exact same first 6 years as Devers or Bogaerts, would you trade that guy for Soto?
I get it, and its definitely a fair point. The other side of that coin is that, even if you empty the farm system, with good resources (like the Sox have) you'll end up with top prospects again. Generational talent, though? That's hard to come by.

We don't need to look much further than the Sox themselves to see that trend bear out. In 2016, only 6 years ago, the sox had one of the best farm systems in the league. Four top 20 prospects (Moncada, Benintendi, Devers, Espinoza) and Kopech in the top 100. After using prospects how you would, one year later, they're down to 3 top prospects (Benintendi, Devers, Groome). in 2018, two years after being a top farm system, they traded away and promoted all their talent. They were left with only 2 players in the top 100, Groome at 83 and Chavis at 85. One year later? ZERO in the top 100.

In a three year period, they want from a top 5 system in the league to one of the worst. In the three years since? They went from one of the worst farm systems in the league to a top 10 farm system.

So, yes, while the goal is to acquire top talent in the farm system for cheaper cost controlled players, its not like the faucet is shut off when you trade them away. It's always dripping.

As to your other question - 6 cost controlled years of Devers or Boogey for Soto? YMMV, but I take Soto 10 times out of 10. We can't take current Devers and extrapolate him for those 6 years. For 3 of his first 6 seasons, he had a WAR less than 1 (would have been 1.5 in covid season). So, while he definitely saved payroll for the team, half of his 6 seasons spent here were no better production than a league average 3rd baseman. That leaves THREE seasons of Devers - who's a FANTASTIC player - vs a generational hitter. A hitter who, despite how awesome Devers is, will produce 300% more OFF in his career than Devers.

And in only about 60 more games, they'll be making fairly similar AAV.

Locking up Soto longterm over Devers first 6 seasons. 10 times out of 10.


A lot of that is just due to timing. Mookie Betts was once a top 5 prospect in baseball. He just lost prospect status before he could be ranked on any end of season list. By the time he reached Boston he was all the rage. What happens when you add Mookie Betts to all your math? Luckily for you, he did miss the cut off so you can use this argument even though it's dishonest.

Also, once you get into the top 10 and to a lesser degree, the top 20, they get pretty close to sure things. Especially the hitters. Lars and Blake failed. Rusney should never have been rated on a prospect list. Who knows what would have been with RWM but that's a one off thing. I guess it depends on what your definition of a sure thing is though. I'm not counting Rusney so 6/9 succeeded. One of the 3 who failed did so due to non baseball reasons. Add Betts into the conversation and you are at 7/10.

If you want to argue we should trade away the farm, that's one thing. But even your list suggest top 20 prospects are more of a sure thing than not. Top 10 especially.
Absolutely fair. I guess my point shouldn't have been about the ability for prospects to succeed, but that, regardless of their success rate, even top 10 prospects don't come close to sniffing the type of player Soto has turned into. I think people are underestimating the gap between great players - Mookie, Devers - and generational players.

Lets use your example, Mookie.

His last 3 seasons in LA have been very consistent across the board, but boiling it down - essentially a 3 WAR player with a 20 OFF. Both very solid numbers.

But nowhere close to 2018 Mookie. The man was a killer at the plate. 185 wRC+. A .449 wOBA. The people talking about "losing a generational talent" are talking about 2016 - 2019 Mookie when he averaged a 141 wRC+ and a .386 wOBA.

In Soto's last 4 seasons, he's averaged a 165 wRC+ and a .420 wOBA. Soto's 4 year run isn't just better than Mookies 4 year run here, its 20% better. Mookies 4 blistering years started when he was 23. Soto just turned 23.

So, if you're going to have to pay both Soto and Mookie $35-38M a season, isn't it a no-brainer? And I know that's shifting the goal posts a bit, and I apologize. You're right. The point shouldn't have been that top prospects always flame out. Its that even when they succeed and are really, really good, they're never Juan Soto.

(Note - calling my argument "dishonest" and then saying, "Rusney should never have been rated on a prospect list, so I'm not counting him" is something else, man).


I think the problem is you projected Devers at 25m. Rendon's AAV is 35m.
Thats true, but Rendons contract is jacked to $35M a season because it's only a 7 year contract. He was 30 when he signed it. The Angels opted for higher AAV to get away from offering him $25M a season in his late 30's and early 40's. That contracts an outlier.

Of the largest 100 contracts, the only guys at 26 or 27 years old (Devers age bracket) that signed 10+ year contracts (standard length) over $25M a season are:

Manny Machado
Mike Trout
Mookie Betts
Francisco Lindor
Corey Seager

In that group, you're talking about generational talent (Trout/Betts), High end SS's (Lindor/Seager), and a unicorn (Machado). While I think the 8 year/$20M a year the Sox offered to start the season is low, I think they could offer $25M a year for 10 years, knowing that the final few years would be at DH/1B. If they only wanted him for 8 years, then, yeah, probably talking about $28-30M+
 

Cesar Crespo

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(Note - calling my argument "dishonest" and then saying, "Rusney should never have been rated on a prospect list, so I'm not counting him" is something else, man).
Not really. It would be like saying Dice K is one of the best SP the Red Sox have developed in the last 15 years and is their highest rated SP prospect of all time. He was BA number 1 prospect. He's not. He was not a prospect. How many people bring up Dice K when we mention great SP prospects for the Boston Red Sox? Oh, that's right. Never. So why do we include Rusney Castillo, who was signed to a MLB contract at the age of 27? He was a failed FA signing, not a failed prospect.

But hey, Seiya Suzuki was the 37th rated prospect going into this year. The Cubs should get a lot of credit for developing Seiya, clearly. They can rate these guys all they want but they are not prospects in the traditional sense at all. Including them in arguments with traditional prospects is dishonest, actually.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Not really. It would be like saying Dice K is one of the best SP the Red Sox have developed in the last 15 years and is their highest rated SP prospect of all time. He was BA number 1 prospect. He's not. He was not a prospect. How many people bring up Dice K when we mention great SP prospects for the Boston Red Sox? Oh, that's right. Never. So why do we include Rusney Castillo, who was signed to a MLB contract at the age of 27? He was a failed FA signing, not a failed prospect.

But hey, Seiya Suzuki was the 37th rated prospect going into this year. The Cubs should get a lot of credit for developing Seiya, clearly. They can rate these guys all they want but they are not prospects in the traditional sense at all. Including them in arguments with traditional prospects is dishonest, actually.
Bringing that crusty, angry attitude out of V&N for a trip into a MLB convo, eh?

These are players from different leagues where we have no idea how they'll adjust to the best players in the world. You laid that out pretty clearly with your own examples. Dice K did fine, Castillo flamed out.

pros·pect
/ˈpräˌspekt/
2. a person regarded as likely to succeed or as a potential customer, client, etc.

Their age doesn't matter. Their future and league success is as variable as the kids drafted out of high school and college. You may not like it, but you can take it up with the industry, which clearly treats them as prospects for a reason.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Bringing that crusty, angry attitude out of V&N for a trip into a MLB convo, eh?

These are players from different leagues where we have no idea how they'll adjust to the best players in the world. You laid that out pretty clearly with your own examples. Dice K did fine, Castillo flamed out.

pros·pect
/ˈpräˌspekt/
2. a person regarded as likely to succeed or as a potential customer, client, etc.

Their age doesn't matter. Their future and league success is as variable as the kids drafted out of high school and college. You may not like it, but you can take it up with the industry, which clearly treats them as prospects for a reason.
And for the purpose of this argument, did Rusney Castillo have "trade value" and the Sox miss a chance to trade him? Did they hoard him? I guess I don't see how he fits in if you are making an argument to trade guys like Mayer and Casas because Castillo never had value.

edit: Every other player on that list had astronomical value at one point outside of Rusney.
 
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Kenny F'ing Powers

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And for the purpose of this argument, did Rusney Castillo have "trade value" and the Sox miss a chance to trade him? Did they hoard him? I guess I don't see how he fits in if you are making an argument to trade guys like Mayer and Casas because Castillo never had value.

edit: Every other player on that list had astronomical value at one point outside of Rusney.
This is bringing the conversation sideways, so I'll stop after this, but I'm really not sure what your point is. While trade value is part of a prospects value, the other part of it is how they actually perform for the organization. When they signed him to a $70M contract, he was a "prospect" that they were gambling would perform better than the cost associated to the contract. he had low trade value because the Sox were the highest offer on him, other teams didn't feel the risk/reward for a "prospect" was worth that contract.

Had Rusney raked in the minors his first season, he would have been a 26 year old prospect with a TON of trade value. Or he would have earned a roster spot with GREAT contract value. Either way, the outcome would have been the same as any other successful prospect.

Instead, he wasn't good enough to advance, and the Sox paid the bill.
 

bosox188

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Probably shouldn't read much into Nightingale, but I can't see the Mariners having enough to be in the running, because I can't imagine they'd ever consider trading Julio or Kirby. After those two, the only prospects at or near the MLB level are Matt Brash, who's looking like nothing more than a reliever (albeit maybe a very good one), and Kelenic, whose value is down given his MLB career so far, and he's still trying to deal with K rate problems in AAA.
 

jon abbey

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Probably shouldn't read much into Nightingale, but I can't see the Mariners having enough to be in the running, because I can't imagine they'd ever consider trading Julio or Kirby. After those two, the only prospects at or near the MLB level are Matt Brash, who's looking like nothing more than a reliever (albeit maybe a very good one), and Kelenic, whose value is down given his MLB career so far, and he's still trying to deal with K rate problems in AAA.
“It’s very rare that you have the opportunity to go out, when your window’s open, and get one of the best players in baseball,” Passan said. “But it would cost Noelvi Marte, Emerson Hancock, Edwin Arroyo, Jarred Kelenic and Matt Brash – I think that’s the size of the package, and maybe even more than that.”

https://sports.mynorthwest.com/1643763/passan-mariners-juan-soto-what-it-would-take/
 

wibi

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My friends here who love Seattle have basically said they would sell the farm. This team feels special to them and Soto could be the piece to put them over the top
 

LogansDad

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“It’s very rare that you have the opportunity to go out, when your window’s open, and get one of the best players in baseball,” Passan said. “But it would cost Noelvi Marte, Emerson Hancock, Edwin Arroyo, Jarred Kelenic and Matt Brash – I think that’s the size of the package, and maybe even more than that.”

https://sports.mynorthwest.com/1643763/passan-mariners-juan-soto-what-it-would-take/
I'd do that in the blink of an eye if I were the Mariners. I can't imagine it gets it done, though, even though I'm the biggest Matt Brash fan who isn't in his family.
 

Marciano490

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One thing I haven’t seen mentioned, Soto was a monster during the Nats playoff run as a baby. 927 OPS, 5 homers, including at least one hugely clutch shot.
 

sean1562

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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vv6AGfOSMZM


Nats are my NL team and he came up huge in the playoffs. Also, walking the bat down to 1B after Bregman had done it a few innings earlier was great. I was surprised to see some of the posts calling him arrogant/being difficult to root for. If Juan Soto was on the Red Sox he would be the most popular player in the Boston sports scene. IDK if he is a terrible fielder but he probably should be in LF not RF.
 

sodenj5

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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vv6AGfOSMZM


Nats are my NL team and he came up huge in the playoffs. Also, walking the bat down to 1B after Bregman had done it a few innings earlier was great. I was surprised to see some of the posts calling him arrogant/being difficult to root for. If Juan Soto was on the Red Sox he would be the most popular player in the Boston sports scene. IDK if he is a terrible fielder but he probably should be in LF not RF.
I mean, watch this video. This guy seems to absolutely live for the big moments.

No one wants to play for a losing franchise forever, but Soto seems like a high level competitor that’s feeling that edge get dulled by playing for a bad team every day.
 

BigSoxFan

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I mean, watch this video. This guy seems to absolutely live for the big moments.

No one wants to play for a losing franchise forever, but Soto seems like a high level competitor that’s feeling that edge get dulled by playing for a bad team every day.
Yeah, the guy is simply amazing. Making the bigs at 19 after 8 games in AA. 8! Being the best player in a WS team when he was 20-21. He’s marketable. He’s great in the clutch. He’s basically a unicorn. I’m not sure that there is a 4-5 prospect package that I say no to, honestly. I get why others would but you’re taking a Pedro/Papi level star here.
 

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I would love to see the Sox get Soto, but I think it's a huge splash that lacks substance if it cripples the team for the years he's under control. The 2018 Red Sox or 1998 Yankees had stars, but they also had phenomenal teams with great depth. It's less sexy, but you put together a team like these by building a solid farm that provides a lot of high quality & underpaid players. Totally gutting the farm system for a single "generational" talent is not the way to go: How many World Series did Ted William win? What about Trout, or Trout and Ohtani?

I'm not saying don't make an effort, but it has to be the right deal. Does anyone remember that the Herschel Walker trade was an unmitigated disaster for the Vikings?

I'm surprised that people here are talking about Mayer and Casas instead of a different scenario. If I'm honest, I don't see the Sox as a good trade partner here, but they do have a route where they sell Bogaerts, JDM, Eovaldi, and anyone else that can fill the prospect pool up and then ship those guys off for Soto. I don't think Chaim would ever want to empty the cupboard but he doesn't have to is he sells. Soto wouldn't be meant to help the team this year, offense is not your problem.
Eric Longenhagen was on a very recent Effectively Wild and ran through potential options. He seems to think the Nats FO will look for ML ready young talent so they can compete again in short order and maybe save their jobs with a new owner. They're not (only)looking for highly ranked guys in A ball, but high quality guys making the minimum very close to MLB. He posits the Cardianls as the most likely landing spot (he also suggests get hitters, rather than pitchers).

I myself sort of draw the line at Mayer. Will he put up Soto numbers at the plate? Almost assuredly not, but he'll also play defense at a premium position instead of being a disaster at the bottom of the defensive spectrum. Not all prospects are created equal, and a legitimate top 10 guy a year after coming out of the draft is not something the Sox usually find. It may be irrational, but he has an actual shot to turn into a cost controlled Lindor type, and that's really what I want to root for.

Lets use your example, Mookie.

But nowhere close to 2018 Mookie. The man was a killer at the plate. 185 wRC+. A .449 wOBA. The people talking about "losing a generational talent" are talking about 2016 - 2019 Mookie when he averaged a 141 wRC+ and a .386 wOBA.

In Soto's last 4 seasons, he's averaged a 165 wRC+ and a .420 wOBA. Soto's 4 year run isn't just better than Mookies 4 year run here, its 20% better. Mookies 4 blistering years started when he was 23. Soto just turned 23.
Mookie could also play defense. His 2016-19 fWAR: 60.7; Soto over 4 years is at 18.9 fWAR (sure that includes 2020, which skews things, but even if you extrapolate that campaign to a full season and give him the benfit of the doubt for being younger than Mookie for his first 4 years, he isn't likely to actually catch Mookie as his defense is going to decline further as he ages. You can go back to a "chicks dig the long ball" theory of team construction, but I think smarter teams realize you have to be able to play on both sides of the ball to build a winning team. I may think that Bloom is unlikely to spend on Soto given the risk, but I trust him to make that evaluation.

Jesse Dougherty, the Nationals beat writer at the Post, said that Soto/Boras were looking for a 10 year+ deal with a record total value (above Trout’s $426.5 million) and an AAV in the ballpark of the biggest long term deals (i.e., around $36 million). So, something like $440/12.
Again, I'd love to have him on the Sox. Sign him to a $454.5 M contract and have Pedro give him a giant novelty check at Fenway's home plate.

Is there any hope at all Corbin turns into a good pitcher again?
If you have to take a sunk cost back, I'd rather go all in on Strasburg, who may at least throw a useful inning again in his career sometime in the future.
 
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OCD SS

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To put it another way, when Johan Santana was on the block, I wasn't willing to give up Lester or Ellsbury, let alone both.

To switch examples, I don't think there's anyway the Sox would land Soto and become a version of the Rangers w/ A-Rod, but the reason for this is because I think Bloom is smart enough not to build a team against his budget that way.
 

chawson

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As far as MLB ready players the Nats might want in a package, I think we’re also underselling Duran, Houck and Dalbec.

Duran (6+ years of team control) and Houck (5+ years) each seem like much more valuable assets than Gleyber Torres, who keeps coming up in these trade rumor reports. Torres is a .330 wOBA second baseman set to make an inflated 2/$28M or so over his last two arb years. His glove at 2B has improved, but he’s almost a weak-side platoon player, putting up a .250/.320/.370 line against RHP over 588 PAs the last two years. He genuinely doesn’t seem all that different from Starlin Castro when the Yanks traded him to the Marlins.

The Nats reportedly want to contend again soon, but there are no signs they can by 2024, when Torres would be in his last year. Even Dalbec, who has 4+ years to figure it out and makes league-minimum next year to see if he finally can, seems more in line with their arc. But Houck and Duran are both really valuable too. They’re nowhere near a duo like Carlson and Gorman, but they’re not as far removed as some of the the MLB-ready guys on other teams.
 

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As far as MLB ready players the Nats might want in a package, I think we’re also underselling Duran, Houck and Dalbec.

Duran (6+ years of team control) and Houck (5+ years) each seem like much more valuable assets than Gleyber Torres, who keeps coming up in these trade rumor reports. Torres is a .330 wOBA second baseman set to make an inflated 2/$28M or so over his last two arb years. His glove at 2B has improved, but he’s almost a weak-side platoon player, putting up a .250/.320/.370 line against RHP over 588 PAs the last two years. He genuinely doesn’t seem all that different from Starlin Castro when the Yanks traded him to the Marlins.

The Nats reportedly want to contend again soon, but there are no signs they can by 2024, when Torres would be in his last year. Even Dalbec, who has 4+ years to figure it out and makes league-minimum next year to see if he finally can, seems more in line with their arc. But Houck and Duran are both really valuable too. They’re nowhere near a duo like Carlson and Gorman, but they’re not as far removed as some of the the MLB-ready guys on other teams.
It's very difficult to judge Torres. Last year was his 2018 Devers year and he has been showing that he's as good as he was his first two years. If he's the 800-900 OPS Torres, his value is closer to Devers than it is to Duran. Looking at his OPS+, he's bounced back to his ~125-130 range. That is where Devers has lived until this year. In 634 games, Devers has a 14.9 WAR, in 519 games Torres has a 10.4.
 

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As far as MLB ready players the Nats might want in a package, I think we’re also underselling Duran, Houck and Dalbec.

Duran (6+ years of team control) and Houck (5+ years) each seem like much more valuable assets than Gleyber Torres, who keeps coming up in these trade rumor reports. Torres is a .330 wOBA second baseman set to make an inflated 2/$28M or so over his last two arb years. His glove at 2B has improved, but he’s almost a weak-side platoon player, putting up a .250/.320/.370 line against RHP over 588 PAs the last two years. He genuinely doesn’t seem all that different from Starlin Castro when the Yanks traded him to the Marlins.

The Nats reportedly want to contend again soon, but there are no signs they can by 2024, when Torres would be in his last year. Even Dalbec, who has 4+ years to figure it out and makes league-minimum next year to see if he finally can, seems more in line with their arc. But Houck and Duran are both really valuable too. They’re nowhere near a duo like Carlson and Gorman, but they’re not as far removed as some of the the MLB-ready guys on other teams.
I'm not arguing with you at all, I'm sure team control will be very important with whomever they receive, but if the Nats will take a package of Duran, Houck, and Dalbec (even if we still need one of the Mayer, Bellow, or Casas group), I'll drive up from NC and gladly drive these guys to DC. I don't know that any of them is more valuable than Torres, especially as I don't know his contract status. The Nats are going to start with Volpe, though, regardless.
 

chawson

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It's very difficult to judge Torres. Last year was his 2018 Devers year and he has been showing that he's as good as he was his first two years. If he's the 800-900 OPS Torres, his value is closer to Devers than it is to Duran. Looking at his OPS+, he's bounced back to his ~125-130 range. That is where Devers has lived until this year. In 634 games, Devers has a 14.9 WAR, in 519 games Torres has a 10.4.
Torres’ expected wOBA by year:
2018 - .338
2019 - .340
2020 - .335
2021 - .331
2022 - .327

Obviously there’s some fluctuation with outcomes and he seems to be getting the ball in the air again this year. At least by this measure, he is what he is, but you watch the games, so I appreciate your perspective.

He’s a good player. But I’d think you want to see him handle righties a little better, and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of surplus value on that contract after his 2019 season inflated his arb rates.
 

chawson

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I'm not arguing with you at all, I'm sure team control will be very important with whomever they receive, but if the Nats will take a package of Duran, Houck, and Dalbec (even if we still need one of the Mayer, Bellow, or Casas group), I'll drive up from NC and gladly drive these guys to DC. I don't know that any of them is more valuable than Torres, especially as I don't know his contract status. The Nats are going to start with Volpe, though, regardless.
Oh yeah, I definitely don’t mean to imply they could lead a package. I’d expect least one of Casas or Mayer at the top of the deal.
 

Murderer's Crow

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Torres’ expected wOBA by year:
2018 - .338
2019 - .340
2020 - .335
2021 - .331
2022 - .327

Obviously there’s some fluctuation with outcomes and he seems to be getting the ball in the air again this year. At least by this measure, he is what he is, but you watch the games, so I appreciate your perspective.

He’s a good player. But I’d think you want to see him handle righties a little better, and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of surplus value on that contract after his 2019 season inflated his arb rates.
Torres is a good player with a couple of years of control left and some upside remaining, he's also young. He does not have Devers' ceiling and he might have gone through a little launch angle revolution HR inflation that many players did in 2017-2019, so I don't think anyone expects 30hrs from him routinely.
 

sean1562

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Torres is also younger than Dalbec, Houck, and Duran. Fangraphs has him on pace for a 4 WAR season while baseballref has him at 6 bWAR. That platoon split is heavily affected by his generally bad season last year. His career split against RHP is .331/.436/.766 which is pretty good for a decent fielding 2B. Trevor Story has a .305/.405/.710 line against RHP the last two seasons, for comparison.

Duran has been a poor to mediocre defensive CF with a 26% K rate and a .697 OPS this season. Houck has been good but he doesn't have a sustained stretch of success in the majors as a starter. Bobby Dalbec is basically our version of Dominic Smith, if he doesn't go on a sustained tear in the second half the Red Sox may/should DFA him after the season. Houck and Duran are pieces you throw in at the end of a Mayer/Casas/Bello deal to try and beat one of the other monster prospect packages being offered for the guy.

If I am the Nats and worried that players will be peaking too early for our next window, I am probably looking for players under 25 to headline a package for Juan Soto.
 

chawson

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Torres is also younger than Dalbec, Houck, and Duran. Fangraphs has him on pace for a 4 WAR season while baseballref has him at 6 bWAR. That platoon split is heavily affected by his generally bad season last year. His career split against RHP is .331/.436/.766 which is pretty good for a decent fielding 2B. Trevor Story has a .305/.405/.710 line against RHP the last two seasons, for comparison.

Duran has been a poor to mediocre defensive CF with a 26% K rate and a .697 OPS this season. Houck has been good but he doesn't have a sustained stretch of success in the majors as a starter. Bobby Dalbec is basically our version of Dominic Smith, if he doesn't go on a sustained tear in the second half the Red Sox may/should DFA him after the season. Houck and Duran are pieces you throw in at the end of a Mayer/Casas/Bello deal to try and beat one of the other monster prospect packages being offered for the guy.

If I am the Nats and worried that players will be peaking too early for our next window, I am probably looking for players under 25 to headline a package for Juan Soto.
Doesn’t matter much how young Torres is when they’ve only got him for two years. He’d have some trade value to them, but he’s on a fairly pricey arbitration track.

Torres is making $6.25M in arb year 1. Devers made $4.6M in his first arb year, and is making $11.25M this year. I don’t know what Torres would make in arbitration, but if he maintains this pace, he’s probably making between $30 and 35 in the last two years of arbitration. That’s not bank-breaking, but maybe too high for a guy who hits right-handed pitching to the tune of 95 wRC+ (over ‘21-22)
 

LogansDad

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“It’s very rare that you have the opportunity to go out, when your window’s open, and get one of the best players in baseball,” Passan said. “But it would cost Noelvi Marte, Emerson Hancock, Edwin Arroyo, Jarred Kelenic and Matt Brash – I think that’s the size of the package, and maybe even more than that.”

https://sports.mynorthwest.com/1643763/passan-mariners-juan-soto-what-it-would-take/
The more I think about it, I really think the Mariners should be all in on Soto. They have very little offense coming up the pipe, and if they could somehow find a way to extend him and Julio, just... Oh my goodness.

I still don't think this package comes close, though. And I say that who is going to be very sad when I don't get to watch Emerson Hancock in person every time he starts at home. He is a superstar pitcher in the making. I think he's better right now than Kirby, who is also quite good.

I also don't think the Mariners would move both Marte and Arroyo, because as good as JP is, one of those two is the heir apparent to him in a couple of years. So we will say Marte goes because I actually like Arroyo more.

Hancock
Marte
Kelenic

Trade simulator gets them about a third of the way there. We'll add Kyle Lewis (cost controlled OF) and Matt Brash (just to make me cry) as the MLB ready talent. There's really not another bat that would be anything but a throw in besides Harry Ford, who could certainly take over in a few years when Ruiz starts getting expensive, but I feel like the Nats are all in on Kiebert. We'll throw Ford in anyway, just because he can become trade fodder for the Nats.

So those three plus:

Lewis
Brash
Ford

On the trade simulator, that still leaves the Mariners way short, BUT it also sends four young but MLB ready players to Nats's way, and two serious blue chip prospects. The Mariners deal from positions of depth and really only lose Lewis out of players who are important to the team "right now".

All of this assumes, of course, that Dipoto is confident that he can extend both Julio and Soto long term, which is probably a lot of wish casting on my part. I also still think the Mariners would either have to take on Corbin's contract (not likely) or add at least two more flier prospects of the Nats' choice in there.
 

BigPapiLumber Co.

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