Absent a trade breaking tonight, it sounds like we’re going to have to keep waiting on a Juan Soto resolution. That is to say, the process is still ongoing, without any public signals that the Nationals have decided to cease negotiations and hold onto Soto.
The latest from Jon Heyman, in fact, makes it pretty clear that at least one person involved thinks this thing is going to completion:
With four days to go, the Cardinals, Padres, Dodgers and Rangers, among others, appear at the forefront of trade talks for superstar Juan Soto, and someone connected to the talks said he “absolutely” believes Soto will be dealt by Tuesday’s trade deadline.
That feeling of dread returns.
Heyman runs down the nine teams involved in the talks (all sound familiar by now), with the four mentioned above as those with top odds, and the Mariners, Yankees, Giants, Rays, and Mets lagging for one reason or another.
As I see things, you can’t ever rule out the Dodgers, since they do have a robust collection of young talent and their farm system is always churning out guys who have popped. They also have the money to extend Juan Soto and God if they want to.
The Rangers feel less likely, though they, too, have a load of highly-touted prospects and enough money to splurge on Corey Seager and Marcus Semien. (I still think there is interest in a sale long-term, and I figure Soto could cut in both directions on that front, as we’ve seen with the Nationals!)
So that leaves the Cardinals and Padres as the most likely suitors in my estimation. Both have the kinds of impact prospects who could be bundled up to make a reasonable offer (at least as reasonable as an offer can be when you’re talking about a 23-year-old who is already talked about as a potential all-time great). Both look to be in a particular spot to want Soto’s next 2.5 seasons especially. And both have shown more financial wherewithal than their market sizes might otherwise suggest.
And if that’s the way it shakes out, I guess I’ll be pulling for the Padres. Which sucks, since I think there’s an excellent trade fit there with the Cubs if they wanted to go big, but that obviously won’t happen if the Padres land Soto. But I can’t root for Soto to land with the Cardinals. I can’t. I don’t care what the price tag is. I dread that outcome like spiders in my shower.
Of course, what I’m still ACTUALLY rooting for is no deal coming together at all. The Cubs would still classify as “unlikely” to land Juan Soto in the offseason, but right now, they are completely uninvolved. Foolishly, I’m still hoping for a chance.
But if that one source is right about what’s coming, I’m hoping in vain.