Hell is Juan Soto on the Cardinals

Watching Albert Pujols on the St. Louis Cardinals was torture.

It wasn’t just that you knew Pujols was going to destroy the Cubs when you saw him coming to the plate back in 2001 to 2011. It was that you knew you were watching the kind of transcendent future Hall of Fame talent in his prime that the Cubs hadn’t had in a very long time, and would not have any time soon. On the Cardinals. I hated every minute of it.

Well. Here’s the thing about all that, as it relates to the current moment and the swirl of Juan Soto trade rumors.

Juan Soto is Albert Pujols.

You know, except maybe even better?

Consider that, although Pujols put up a slightly better slash line and wRC+ over his first five seasons than Soto has over his, Pujols did it when he was 21 through 25. Soto has done it at 19 through 23. The idea that Soto might get to flip over into that 24, 25, 26+ age range with the Cardinals? It’s enough send me into night sweats in the middle of the day.

And when I picture Soto in a St. Louis Cardinals uniform, shuffling in the batters box at Wrigley Field just before he sends one, oppo, out onto Waveland? There is not enough Malort in the world to thereafter erase that image.

Nothing is guaranteed. Perhaps Juan Soto is among the rarest of the rare who performs at a historically elite level until he’s 23 years old, and then he just totally forgets how to hit. Or maybe he suffers an unfortunate injury that saps his performance to a dramatic degree. I understand these things, and I know that whatever comes next, nothing is set in stone.

… but do you really believe, in the face of decades of Cardinals voodoo magic bs, that Soto wouldn’t continue to be a monster for another decade or more? That he wouldn’t be Pujols reincarnated, as if designed by some cruel god specifically to torment Cubs fans?

So when I see all the rumors about the Nationals trading Juan Soto, and about how the Cardinals are an obvious and perfect fit, I dread it. I’m not sure there is anything that could happen this trade season that would destroy me more than Soto being traded to the Cardinals.

The worst part is that it does make sense. The Cardinals will have the financial ability to extend Soto long-term. The Cardinals do have the kind of impact prospects and young big league talent to present a compelling package. I want to throw up.

Please, baseball gods. Do not let this happen. The Rangers should definitely take another big expensive swing. The Mariners could use a star like Soto. The Padres always like to do crazy stuff. Anything but the Cardinals. I can’t take another decade of the Albert Pujols Cardinals Experience.

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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