After rejecting the Washington Nationals’ latest contract extension offer worth $440 million over 15 years, star outfielder Juan Soto could be traded within the next few days.
There is growing pessimism in Washington that they can extend Soto, and prefer to maximize his value and trade him prior to this year’s deadline, set for August 2.
Several teams are said to be preparing offers, including the New York Yankees, the New York Mets, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Seattle Mariners, and the St. Louis Cardinals.
Both the San Diego Padres and the San Francisco Giants could be interested, too.
What about the Cleveland Guardians?
Soto, a generational hitting talent, would take the Guards into instant contention.
He is not yet 24, and has won a World Series, a Home Run Derby, two Silver Slugger awards, a batting title, and has several top-ten MVP finishes in the National League.
He has hit 118 home runs at such a young age, and has unmatched plate discipline.
He would become, easily, the best player in the AL Central.
Don’t Count On The Guardians Making An Offer
However, don’t count on the Guardians making an offer, at least according to insider Bob Nightengale.
“The Washington #Nats have begun fielding preliminary offers for Juan Soto, with seven teams already weighing in, including 3 in the NL West: #Mariners #Padres #SFGiants #Dodgers #STLCards #Yankees #Mets. The trade deadline is Aug. 2, but Nats will wait unless get the right deal,” he tweeted.
The Washington #Nats have begun fielding preliminary offers for Juan Soto, with seven teams already weighing in, including 3 in the NL West:#Mariners#Padres#SFGiants#Dodgers#STLCards#Yankees#Mets.
The trade deadline is Aug. 2, but Nats will wait unless get the right deal
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 21, 2022
The Guardians are nowhere to be found on that list.
Cleveland has the assets to lure the Nationals in trade negotiations.
They have the prospects (Gabriel Arias, Daniel Espino, Brayan Rocchio, George Valera, and more) and the young, impactful MLB-ready players (Andres Gimenez, Triston McKenzie, Steven Kwan, Nolan Jones) to pique their interest if they wanted.
However, the chances of Soto signing a long-term deal in Cleveland are slim, and the chances of the Guardians offering it are next to none.
It would be nice to see him in a Guardians uniform, but it’s highly unlikely to happen.
They could theoretically trade the farm and some of those impactful young stars for two-and-a-half years of Soto, but is it really worth it knowing that an extension is extremely unlikely?