Projecting a Dodgers-Juan Soto trade package if Nationals sell

Speculation of a Juan Soto trade this season started growing with Buster Olney reporting on Wednesday that the Washington Nationals could potentially be compelled to move the young superstar. And considering Soto is one of the biggest (and, eventually, most expensive) names in the sport, the Los Angeles Dodgers instantly joined the conversation.

Both Scott Boras and Nationals sources pushed back on the idea of Soto being traded this season, and it still is far more likely that he finishes this season as a member of the Nats. However, if there is one thing the Nationals love doing, it is letting a generational superstar outfielder who debuted at 19 walk away so they can overpay starting pitchers who are past their prime.

The Nationals would be foolish to not lock down Soto for life, but they’re also not a large market team and may have learned from their experience with Bryce Harper.

Will the Dodgers trade for Juan Soto this season? Probably not. As crazy as it sounds, this team doesn’t need  Soto for a World Series run this season, and would be much better off just waiting until he is a free agent and writing him a blank check.

However, that has not stopped Dodger fans’ imagination from running wild and pondering a simple question:

What would a Juan Soto trade look like for the Los Angeles Dodgers?

Soto is a generational superstar who is only 23 years old and has two more years of team control after the 2022 season. That is another way of saying it would cost the Dodgers a lot. 

As far as I am concerned, the conversation for a Soto trade starts with the following package:

Dodgers Get
Juan Soto
Nationals Get
Diego Cartaya
Gavin Lux
Bobby Miller
Andy Pages

Yeah, the Nationals already acquired the previous top catching prospect from the Los Angeles Dodgers in Keibert Ruiz. It does not matter. Washington is not making a Soto trade without getting the other team’s top prospect, who in this case is Diego Cartaya. Cartaya ranks 25th in MLB Pipeline’s Top 100.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Inside Diego Cartaya’s massive rise to being the Dodgers’ top prospect

The Nationals are also going to ask for big-league talent and would get another young potential star in the making in Gavin Lux. Sure, some Dodger fans are not happy with Lux’s performance, but he was just the second-ranked prospect in the sport two years ago and was the MiLB Player of the Year. He has value, albeit not as much as he did two years ago.

Top pitching prospect? That also has to go to the Nationals. Bobby Miller with his high-90s fastball and his career 2.90 MiLB ERA would be shipped to the Nats. Washington is already getting an infielder in the trade, so they’d ask next for the top outfield prospect the Dodgers have in Andy Pages.

Pages, who should have been traded to the Los Angeles Angels but Arte Moreno grew too impatient, has a .928 OPS in 269 career MiLB games with 65 home runs.

Miller and Pages rank 53rd and 64th, respectively, in MLB Pipeline’s Top 100. And this is just the starting point; three top-100 prospects and a young, big-league contributor who used to be a top-two prospect. Washington may even ask for Michael Busch, Miguel Vargas, or Ryan Pepiot.

Juan Soto is a generational superstar and that is how much it would cost to trade for a young, generational superstar with two years of team control. Anything less than this is absurd and, quite frankly, it might even cost more.

So no, don’t expect the Los Angeles Dodgers to trade for Juan Soto this season.