The Los Angeles Dodgers were seemingly content making minor moves at this year’s trade deadline due to the many escalated asking prices out there for the available top names. There was no chance LA was paying the package the Seattle Mariners did for Luis Castillo, and the Miami Marlins were dreaming with what they wanted for Pablo Lopez.
If there was any excessive price to pay, it was admittedly for Washington Nationals superstar Juan Soto, who is just 23 years old and came with 2.5 years of team control. The San Diego Padres pulled the trigger and gave up five of their best prospects (their top four and then one other the Nationals preferred), Luke Voit, Eric Hosmer, and $44 million to pay for the Red Sox to take Hosmer after the veteran waived his no-trade clause to avoid landing in Washington.
Though president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is as aggressive as they come, his calculated approach never takes him off course. For as good as Soto is, even if the Dodgers weren’t the best team in baseball, fans would have to imagine Friedman may not have gone the distance to get this deal done.
The reason being is because the Dodgers value their young talent and constantly use their top prospects to supplement their winning rosters. That gives them the proper experience to eventually take over as everyday starters when the time comes.
With the Dodgers riding high, there was little reason to part with years of hard work dedicated to scouting and drafting, especially with a wide open future ahead. Now that the Nationals’ asking price (specifically for LA) has been revealed, it’s easy to see why.
The Nationals’ asking price for Juan Soto in talks with the Dodgers has surfaced
Per JP Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group, the Nationals requested LA’s top two prospects in catcher Diego Cartaya and pitcher Bobby Miller. That was the starting point, which isn’t surprising.
But then they wanted “two or three” of Michael Busch (No. 3), Andy Pages (No. 4), Miguel Vargas (No. 5) and Ryan Pepiot (No. 6). Still not done, though! Per Hoornstra, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo wanted an additional two or three “wild card prospects.”
If we’re to take a stab at it, that could’ve been a trio of guys like … pitcher Clayton Beeter (before he was traded to the Yankees), pitcher Ronan Kopp or shortstop Rayne Doncon?
Worth it? For Soto, yes. For what the Dodgers are trying to accomplish in 2022 and beyond? Probably not. Soto is just one guy, and the Dodgers trading multiple players knocking on the door of the MLB roster likely didn’t make a whole lot of sense, especially with Mookie Betts already entrenched in right field (Soto’s position).
Now, the pressure’s on San Diego. It’s World Series or bust for the Pads between now and 2024. Meanwhile, the Dodgers will continue humming along with the league’s best offense and a roster deep enough to absorb even the most troubling of injuries.
That’s how you build a perennial contender.