Juan Soto to St. Louis? What would it take?

by JoeYancey

Why should the St. Louis Cardinals trade for Juan Soto?

  1. The Cardinals would assemble a lineup that resembles the Avengers. Their most potent lineup in 60 + years.
  2. The best possible protection that exists for Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt is in the form of Juan Soto.
  3. The likeliness Nolan Arenado opts out is lower if he feels he is part of a winner. The threat of the Dodgers, Yankees, Astros or Mets swooping through in the night, whisking away the All-World third baseman will be there until it is not, but Juan Soto helps the team win. A lot more games. This is an important piece of the Arenado retention plan.
  4. The team has another play here that few have investigated. It may be unconventional, risky, and expensive, but the Cardinals can trade for Soto, and use the rest of the year to feel him out. Scott Boras is a snarky one, but he will ultimately want what his client wants and without trade clauses muddying the waters, he would be direct with the STL Front Office. Meaning the Cardinals could still hold two years of control on Juan Soto and trade him to a team where he signs upon trade or is most likely to extend, should they feel an extension in St. louis is unlikely. Granted some young, key pieces may be lost along the way, but who is to say they do not retrieve the same or better if they need to move Soto later?
  5. Aside from Yadier Molina, Albert Pujols, (a generational talent, like Juan Soto) and David Freese, no St. Louis Cardinals prospect has been a catalyst or deeply involved in playoff runs or World Series titles in the modern baseball era. Homegrown talent is great, but the Cardinals’ playoff success the last 30 years has come from outside the organization via trade or free agent signing. Here are some off the top of my head, knowing the list is much longer: Scott Rolen, Chris Carpenter, Lance Berkman, Jim Edmonds, Adam Wainwright, Matt Holliday, David Eckstein, Jeff Suppan, Larry Walker, Mark Mulder.
  6. Juan Soto with the protection of Nolan Arenado, Albert Pujols, Tyler O’Neill, and on-pace NL MVP, Paul Goldschmidt would be much better than he currently is.
  7. Paul Goldschmidt, Tyler O’Neill, Albert Pujols and Nolan Arenado would also be much better than they currently are. Imagine that?

Why should the St. Louis Cardinals not trade for Juan Soto?

  1. Jordan Walker can play anywhere, and many believe he may someday be an outfielder. His natural and preferred position is third base. If you believe Nolan Arenado will leave the Cardinals, you will not want to lose Walker.
  2. The same applies for shortstop, Masyn Winn and other prospects.
  3. Losing a chunk of the young talent already at the big league level would hurt the club’s depth, as the Cardinals will be moving a lot of players for just one in exchange. Nolan Gorman is a young talent with a lot of pop and a lot of potential. Dylan Carlson is a complete player. These players would be missed.
  4. That is it. That’s the list.

The same St. Louis Cardinals fans that have complained about the lack of star power do not want the star power as it walks up and knocks on their door. Does anyone truly know how good these prospects are? Yes, yes we do. We know they are very good at the Minor League level. That is what we know.

Let me tell you what we know about Juan Soto:

 WAR (Offensive)NL RankOBPSNL RankWalksNL Rank
20223.79th.8877th821st
20216.82nd.9992nd1451st
2020 (Shortened)2.91st.11851st415th
20194.722nd.9496th1085th
2018 (Rookie)3.647th.9237th7918th

It is also important to note that Juan Soto would find his road much easier. Moving divisions, getting smaller doses of Max Scherzer, Sandy Alcantara, Max Fried, Jacob deGrom, Kyle Wright, Taijuan Walker, and Zack Wheeler will help anyone’s bottom line. To assume Juan Soto would be a better player in the St. Louis Cardinals lineup is improper treatment of the word better. There is zero doubt.

Stay tuned…

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