The Milwaukee Brewers need some help on offense. Reportedly, Nationals superstar Juan Soto is on the trade block. If you’re looking for an offensive upgrade, there is none better.
*Full disclaimer*: No, the Brewers will not actually trade for Juan Soto. I know that. Don’t yell at me, or tell me this is too much or the Brewers won’t pay this price, or Attanasio is too cheap. I’m fully aware of that. This is merely a hypothetical look at what it would take to make it happen. *End disclaimer*
Alright, with that said, let’s get into the fun stuff. The Washington Nationals offered Juan Soto a $440MM contract extension over 15 years. He turned it down. Reports are saying that now the Nationals are willing to trade Soto at the Deadline this year to get maximum value in return.
With this news, every front office in baseball is going to think about what it would cost to acquire Soto and if they have enough to get it done.
Why would the Brewers consider trading for Juan Soto?
Juan Soto is perhaps the most talented hitter in the game of baseball right now. He’s 23 years old and purely gifted at the plate. You want a game-changing, impact bat that can help carry this Brewers team to a World Series? You’ll find none better than Soto.
He’d immediately improve the Brewers chances to win a World Series this year and in the near future dramatically.
What would it cost for the Brewers to acquire Juan Soto from the Nationals?
In short, everything. One GM said it would be a Herschel Walker level trade. Milwaukee would have to sell the farm to get Soto for the next two and a half seasons.
Here’s my guess as to what it would cost the Brewers:
Nationals trade: OF Juan Soto
This is what the Brewers could offer, and even then it still might not be enough. This is the Brewers top three overall prospects, their two top pitching prospects, their top shortstop prospect, and a pair of draft picks over the next two years. That’s probably the very best David Stearns could do, if he wanted to do it.
I know I just got done saying Chourio and Wiemer were untouchable at this trade deadline, but when it’s Juan Soto, no prospect is untouchable.
In all likelihood, he doesn’t want to do that. This sells the farm almost entirely. The starting pitching depth would be cut with the losses of Ashby and Small.
But, what it does is strengthen this lineup significantly and solidifies the contention window for the next two and a half seasons.
Soto is a free agent at the end of the 2024 season, which lines up with the Brewers pending free agencies of Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, and Willy Adames. They’re not going to be able to sign all of them long term, especially not Soto. In short, Soto would make a clear window for Milwaukee through 2024.
A trade like this would be David Stearns saying that our window to win a World Series is now, and we’re pushing all of our chips in on 2022, 2023, and 2024. After 2024, it would be full rebuild mode in Milwaukee with this trade.
There is practically no chance Juan Soto becomes a Brewer. Not only because of the high acquisition cost and the dramatic shift in philosophy it would take from the Brewers organization, but also because Soto’s already earning $17.1MM in arbitration this year and he’s going to reach record levels over each of the next two seasons that the Brewers likely can’t fit into their payroll, especially with everyone else already on the roster getting big raises.
It’s a fun hypothetical rumor at the Trade Deadline, and Soto may very well be on the move. But the Brewers simply don’t have the prospects and don’t have the money to make this kind of investment.
For the sake of the Brewers and their World Series chances, hopefully Soto goes somewhere in the American League, or at the very least, anywhere but the Dodgers.