With the second-best record in Major League Baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers are once again set up nicely for a playoff run.
However, the roster still needs to be addressed at the trade deadline. Positional depth as well as pitching of all kinds will be needed thanks to injuries and unexpected/lingering regressions. Andrew Friedman’s work has been cut out for him for weeks now.
But could that all change now that the Washington Nationals reportedly plan to trade All-Star Juan Soto before the Aug. 2 deadline? Would it be responsible for the Dodgers to use most of their organizational depth to acquire a generational player rather than more precisely round out the roster’s edges?
It’s certainly a debate to be had! And it’s no surprise the Dodgers are among the few teams mentioned as potential Soto suitors because of their incredibly deep farm system, which still ranks toward the top of the league despite countless trades that many would have thought gutted it in recent years.
Whether you think the Dodgers should be aggressive in the pursuit of one of the best players in the game, who will be under club control through 2024, or not, understanding the framework that it will take to happen is necessary nonetheless.
Because, don’t forget, the San Diego Padres are viewed as one of the frontrunners here, which could shift the dynamic of the NL West for years to come.
This mega Dodgers-Juan Soto trade package could bring Nationals star to LA
There really isn’t a “variation” of trade packages that will get a Soto deal done. The Nationals will have their demands, and the potential buyers will have to simply obey.
Recent reports suggested Washington will be asking for a combination of the following:
- A team’s top-four prospects
- Young Major League talent
- An ability to absorb Patrick Corbin’s contract
Again, the Dodgers are one of the few teams that can make any and all of that happen. But we’d guess they’d avoid Corbin’s contract because they’re on the edge of the luxury tax threshold right now and would be inheriting a decent amount of Soto’s $17 million salary this year. So here’s what might make the most sense.
- OF Juan Soto
- INF Gavin Lux
- SP Dustin May
- No. 2 prospect SP Bobby Miller
- No. 3 prospect INF Michael Busch
- No. 4 prospect OF Andy Pages
- No. 5 prospect 3B Miguel Vargas
*(We’re leaving out No. 1 prospect Diego Cartaya since the Dodgers just traded top catching prospect Keibert Ruiz to Washington last season)*
On the surface, this would be the most self-explanatory package, but perhaps the Nationals view guys like pitcher Ryan Pepiot, pitcher Landon Knack, pitcher Maddux Bruns, outfielder James Outman or shortstop Jacob Amaya as more intriguing? That could shift things around a bit, and maybe the Dodgers won’t have to part with all of 2-5 or can keep Lux and/or May.
Some fans might view this as excessive, but this is the price you pay for acquiring a top-three player in the game with 2.5 years of control. Even though the Dodgers have plenty of work to do these next couple of offseasons, Soto’s financial commitment won’t be excessive or long-term, which would give Friedman flexibility to build the roster.
And if the Dodgers want to make this a marriage? They have the financial power to do it, and that’ll really make surrendering this much young talent worthwhile.