There’s a big difference between what’s going to happen and what we think should happen, so we asked ESPN.com’s Bradford Doolittle and David Schoenfield to figure out the best possible trades for the biggest names we’re hearing could move.
Doolittle: Here’s the part where we reemphasize these are trades we personally would like to see, not trades we think will happen. Nevertheless, when I imagine Soto on the St. Louis Cardinals, I do so knowing they have been termed one of the clubs that match up best with the Nationals’ trade asks.
I don’t think it will happen because the ever above-average Cardinals just don’t do this kind of in-season splash. But to see Soto lead the way through a postseason run that will send Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols into the twilight would be an amazing baseball story. The Cardinals certainly could use Soto’s bat in the outfield, though he would weaken St. Louis’ elite defense out there in the grass. With Paul Goldschmidt signed only through 2024, maybe St. Louis even could make a run at giving Soto the $500 million deal he wants.
The package going back to the Nats would be headlined by either Nolan Gorman or prospect Jordan Walker as a starting point. While GM Mike Rizzo said that Washington isn’t going to fold Patrick Corbin and his upside-down contract into a deal if it dilutes the prospect return, perhaps if the Nationals include some cash, that could expand the deal even more. That is if the Cardinals’ scouts see something fixable in Corbin, because St. Louis needs the pitching. But the Cardinals also need Soto, or at least I need them to need Soto.