Before the All-Star Break, it was reported that Juan Soto turned down a 14-year, $440 million extension with the Nationals, and the team leaked that they would be interested in listening to trade offers. He then went on to win the Home Run Derby, and his agent Scott Boras revealed that the team forced him to fly commercial to the festivities while other teams were chartering private jets. As if all of that wasn’t enough, Soto quote-Tweeted a Derek Jeter Tweet during his documentary series “Loyalty one way is stupidity.”
Yeah, tension between Soto and the Nationals is very high at the moment.
That means that a team could potentially be getting a 23 year-old World Series Champion that has looked like the next coming of Ted Williams thus far and is one of the most-feared hitters in baseball. It would require a hefty package comparable to the 1989 Herschel Walker trade, but could alter the future of a franchise for over the next decade.
So, the Nationals will explore the best possible offers over the forthcoming two weeks. Bob Nightengale has reported that the teams that have been in discussion thus far have been the Yankees, Mets, Dodgers, Giants, Padres, Cardinals and Mariners. But where would Juan Soto WANT to play? If you do trade for Juan Soto, he’ll also be hitting unrestricted free agency in the forthcoming years, so not only will you have to give up superstar talent and prospects, you also have to hope that he’ll want to re-sign with your offer. A recruiting pitch is necessary. Let’s listen to the recruits of each team.
“Juan, we’re very humbled to have you here. No, we don’t exactly have a history of winning despite having superstars like Ken Griffey Jr. and Randy Johnson in the past- I’m sure you’ve heard all about the historic playoff drought that we’re in the midst of. But things feel DIFFERENT right now, and we want you to be a part of it. We went for it this offseason in free agency, we won 14 games in a row before the All-Star break, and that Julio Rodriguez kid, the 21 year-old who got second place only to you in the Home Run Derby, is someone we want to pair you with for the next 15 years. Houston can’t possibly own the AL West forever with their age, right? You already pulled off that miraculous 2019 World Series run in Washington when all hope was lost. Come here and join our young core and pull off the impossible again. Let’s make history together.”
St. Louis Cardinals
“Hey, Juan. Does the nickname “Classiest Fan Base in Baseball” ring a bell to you? You’ll get all the standing ovations and golf claps possible for every walk you draw, just like Stan Musial, Ozzie Smith, and Albert Pujols did all those years. We know a thing or two about saving players from incompetently-run organizations. Remember when Nolan Arenado signed a massive extension in Colorado only for them to bottom-out and refuse to spend money to build around him? We rescued him and he runs our hot corner now while they’re still paying his salary. Come play with him, with Paul Goldschmidt, with the best fans in baseball, in the best uniform in baseball, and we’ll take care of you as we run the NL Central and make the leap ahead of the Brewers.”
San Francisco Giants
“Juan, thank you for meeting with us today. We hope you’re enjoying the cool breeze of the Bay Area. Do you know what else feels a bit cooler around here? The kayakers in McCovey cove that dive into the water in right field as home run balls are constantly hammered over that wall, which we think you’d take full advantage of. Remember that other lefty power-hitter, Barry Bonds? He happened to hit plenty into that cove as he was treated like an absolute superstar here on a nightly basis, taken care of by the organization and beloved by the fans for years. We want you to be that star on a team that is already winning without one. NL Manager of the Year last year, Gabe Kapler, is a player-first guy that put together a team that won 107 games last year with a team that was expected to finish third in the division at best during the preseason. We overperform. We take care of our players in one of the most beautiful sports atmospheres in the world. Be THE guy on a team that can already win without one and has fun doing it for the next decade.”
San Diego Padres
“Mr. Soto, you’re a guy who wants to win and have fun doing so. We’ve seen your Soto shuffle and your evergreen contagious smile with every base you take. Not only are we a team that wants to compete and is willing to spend money and invest in a roster to compete with the Dodgers and Giants in our division, we let our hair down and have a blast together with our young, electrifying personalities while doing so. Imagine a 1-2-3 lineup of 23 year-old Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado, and yourself all in the lineup, all under thirty years old, and all dancing with the iced-out home run chain that spins and the neon pink and green uniforms we have. We would be must-see television that competes for World Series as the new wave of letting the kids play takes over the game. We don’t have a history of winning, yet we’re a city that has less traffic and easier-access to beaches than LA. We are the overlooked beautiful girl at the dance that you should have said yes to all along. Come and build something with us and have fun doing it.”
Los Angeles Dodgers
“Nice to meet you, Juan. It looks like you had fun winning the derby at this park on the big stage last week amongst the palm trees and the superstars of Los Angeles. How would you like to hit more of those on a team that features 4 MVPs, the largest payroll in the league, a top-5 farm system that develops talent on top of spending money, and the highest win percentage since 2010 that is a World Series contender every single year? Oh, and have we told you about In-N-Out yet?
New York Mets
“Hi, Juan! I’m Steve Cohen, and I have the most money in baseball. I heard that you said in some previous interviews that hitting in this ballpark is your favorite! Well, Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor, Jacob deGrom, and your former teammate Max Scherzer would love to help you get revenge on your current franchise in the division as you get to play in it routinely. Did I mention I had a ton of money?”
New York Yankees
places 27 World Series rings on the table next to a duffel bag of cash