The Washington Nationals are listening to offers for Juan Soto. He reportedly rejected $440 million from them which has the organization ready to trade him away. Naturally, New York Mets fans are hoping something can get done.
Dreams of the Steve Cohen-led Mets eventually signing Soto in free agency remain but with a trade also comes the risk of an extension. Teams would be foolish to pay the ransom for Soto if they can’t afford to keep him around. The Mets aren’t one of those clubs.
We can all put together our greatest trade package of players in a deal starting with Francisco Alvarez and going down as far as needed. But it’s much bigger than that. Trading for Soto is a once-in-a-generation type of move for both organizations that takes a lot of thought—or at least three.
1) The Mets can relieve the Nationals of a lot of financial strain in a Juan Soto trade
The deal would never become Juan Soto and a couple of bad contracts for Khalil Lee and a low-level prospect. Even with the Mets taking on contracts belonging to guys like Patrick Corbin and Stephen Strasburg, it would still require some really good players headed to Washington. Otherwise, what are the Nationals even doing? They mine as well pack up and go back to Montreal and call themselves the Expos.
The Mets, more than most teams, can offer the Nationals some immediate financial relief. Specifically, it’s Patrick Corbin and Stephan Strasburg they’d probably like to move on from.
The Nationals would have more of an attachment to Strasburg because of his history with the club but that shouldn’t prevent them from shopping him. After all, they’re already trading Soto in this deal. Why hold onto Strasburg and the $35 million owed to him over the next few seasons and all of the deferred cash?
If getting out from under some financial commitment is a goal of Washington’s in a trade involving Soto, the Mets are among the leaders capable and maybe even willing to pay this price.