Does it make sense to trade Jeff McNeil for Juan Soto? I suppose it does. SNY’s Anthony McCarron has McNeil heading to the Washington Nationals from the New York Mets in the package he’s offering.
In a deal that would also include Tylor Megill, Francisco Alvarez, and Ronny Mauricio, Brett Baty, and Mark Vientos with maybe only one of the latter three staying put, it’s quite a haul for Washington as should be the case with any trade involving Soto.
One has to ponder this; what would the Nationals even want with McNeil?
Would the Mets really trade All-Star Jeff McNeil in a package for Juan Soto this year?
The Nationals haven’t shown their cards yet as to exactly the type of players they’d like to get back for Soto. One would think controllable young players would be it. McNeil doesn’t fit this description. He is already 30 and would reach free agency after the 2024 season.
But this does fit into the speculation that Washington would want major league-ready players. Could they possibly be hoping for a quicker turnaround than many of us think they can accomplish?
From a Nationals standpoint, it actually makes less sense to want McNeil. Odds are not in their favor of being very good again next season. In 2024, they’ll need everything to go their way to have any shot. Could it be that McNeil is simply a player they could trade away somewhere else either immediately after acquiring him or in the near future?
For the Mets, it’s a harsh subtraction but not entirely unbelievable. They have used Luis Guillorme plenty at second base this season. If they were able to hold onto Mauricio, he could be their future answer at second base to play alongside Francisco Lindor.
It does, however, subtract an important piece from this year’s puzzle. Without McNeil, the Mets would be starting Guillorme regularly and also lose what has made him an effective big leaguer. Is he ready for everyday duties?
It’s only one person’s trade package but not the first I’ve seen to include McNeil.
This trade does look less attractive when we factor in that the Mets would still be depleting their farm system greatly while also giving up their starting All-Star second baseman. Do you subtract from what you have at the major leagues in one area to get better at another? It might be the situation Billy Eppler finds himself in during trade negotiations with the Nationals.