The Cardinals Trade Proposal for Juan Soto
There are multiple different packages the Cardinals could put together for Soto, and the Cardinals would likely need to sprinkle in 2-3 more players to get this deal done, but this would be a great foundation for a Juan Soto trade for St. Louis.
Nolan Gorman already has 15 home runs in AAA this season and appears to be ready to mash as the big league level. Dylan Carlson has started off his big league career slower than fans had hoped for, but still projects to be a very good hitter with Gold Glove defense in right field. Matthew Liberatore could easily be a #3 starter on a good ballclub in his prime and has the potential of a high end #2 or low end ace for a club. Maysn Winn has an extremely high ceiling at shortstop, the the club could sprinkle in guys like Joshua Baez, Michael McGreevey, or others to get this deal done. Tyler O’Neill may be untradeable at the moment, but the Nationals could be interested in his high ceiling.
Jordan Walker would surely be asked for by Washington, and there is a chance they would not even consider a St. Louis offer without him in it. The Cardinals would be wise to hold onto Walker though, as he has the makings of a top 10 player in baseball, and his year or two delay until receiving big league action could fit really well with the clubs new timeline and give them reinforcements as other current Cardinals begin to need new contracts.
If Washington needs Walker to be in the deal, the club could probably hold onto Gorman and/or some other guys, but it’s worth weighing the risk of a potential cost controlled superstar for a guy who will make 40 million a year. But its hard to argue with almost 10+ years of MVP level play you’d be trading for.
If the Cardinals swung this deal, they’d be looking at a potential lineup of:
2B Tommy Edman
1B Paul Goldschmidt
RF Juan Soto
3B Nolan Arenado
DH Juan Yepez
LF Tyler O’Neill
C Yadier Molina
SS Brendan Donovan
CF Harrison Bader
This lineup has at least three MVP level hitters, and if Tyler O’Neill turns things around, potentially four. As good as Dylan Carlson could be, upgrading to Juan Soto is a no brainer and makes this lineup go from dangerous to nearly unstoppable.
Keeping Jordan Walker would be huge for St. Louis, as they would have a replacement in the wings for Paul Goldschmidt when his contract is up in 2024 or insurance for the unlikely scenario that Nolan Arenado leaves St. Louis. If Walker continues to mash and make the big league club in the next year or two, he could split time between the corner outfield spots, DH, and the corner infield, or take over full time in the lineup for Tyler O’Neill if he continues to struggle.
If the Juan Soto trade talks become serious between now and the trade deadline, the Cardinals must throw their hats in the ring and make a legit offer for the Nationals superstar. Soto would easily be the best hitter the club has had since prime Albert Pujols, and the Goldy-Soto-Arenado trio would wreck havoc on a nightly basis. There is so much room to debate the exact package it would require to acquire Soto, but one this is for certain, the Cardinals need to make a run at him.