Could Dodgers Be a Match for Juan Soto?

With the trade deadline just a few weeks away, there hasn’t been an overwhelming amount of news surrounding the Los Angeles Dodgers, aside from a few whispers about infielder Brandon Drury and the perennial rumblings surrounding pitcher Luis Castillo.

The team has been somewhat busy on the bottom-end of the market, having brought back reliever Jake Reed after he was waived by the Mets and signing another reliever in Hansel Robles after being released by the Red Sox.

Nevertheless, the Dodgers probably will make several more moves, as Andrew Friedman and his crew are typically active participants in the summer trading season. How big of a splash the Dodgers make, though, remains to be seen.

One of the big headlines in the baseball blogosphere on Saturday morning was the idea that the Nationals could reach the point of entertaining offers for superstar outfielder Juan Soto. Our friends over at MLBTR reported this weekend through Ken Rosenthal that the 23-year-old lefty-hitting slugger rejected a $440 million deal that would have netted him nearly $30 million per year for 15 years.

Just because Soto rejected the deal, though, doesn’t mean he’ll be heading to another team anytime soon. Washington still controls the 6-foot-2, 225-pounder for another two seasons, meaning that they could offer him another deal or wait closer to his free agency eligibility to trade him to another club.

Soto is earning $17 million this season in his second year of arbitration eligibility. He’ll be eligible to file for free agency after the 2024 season if he doesn’t sign a contract beforehand.

What Lies Ahead for Cody Bellinger?

It’s tough to envision how the Dodgers view their outfield over the long haul, aside from Mookie Betts being cemented in right field for the foreseeable future. A few years ago, it seemed as if Cody Bellinger would be part of that picture, but unless he can show he can produce more on offense, the Dodgers might not be compelled to keep him around solely for his superior defensive skills.

Bellinger still seems to have the power when he barrels up the ball, but he just can’t seem to find a groove making contact. After astonishing the baseball world with a 1.035 OPS in his MVP year in 2019, he has been tumbling quickly, although some pundits still reference a past shoulder injury in his downfall.

Last year, the 27-year-old Bellinger registered just a .542 OPS over 350 plate appearances, almost half the number of his MVP year. So far this season, he’s hitting just .209/.271/.379 in 301 PA.

Andy Pages Chugging Along at Double-A Tulsa

One of the big names on the Los Angeles farm is 21-year-old Andy Pages. The 6-foot-1 righty-hitting Pages recently climbed as high as No. 4 in MLB Pipeline’s team rankings for the Dodgers after being one of the organizational leaders with 31 long balls last year.

However, after his promotion to Double-A this season, Pages is hitting just .240/.350/.460 in 80 games at Tulsa. His power is still obvious with 15 homers and 16 doubles, but until he can raise his OBP, his MLB arrival time could be affected.

While the Dodgers probably don’t see either Gavin Lux, Chris Taylor or Trayce Thompson as long-term outfield solutions, landing Soto could change the team landscape dramatically.

Soto is one of the game’s premier hitters, boasting a career .292/.427/.540 slash line in his fifth full year. Last year, Soto led the entire majors with a .465 OPS when he battled Trea Turner for the NL batting title into the final days of the season. Soto led the majors with a ridiculous 1.185 during the COVID-shortened season in 2020.

Soto has settled into the right field role in Washington, but primarily handled the team’s left-field duties in his first two years in the majors.

Although it appears obvious that Trevor Bauer will not return to the Dodgers, there’s still uncertainty whether Los Angeles will be on the hook for any portion of the pitcher’s salary, perhaps making the team hesitant of considering an immediate blockbuster signing.

8 thoughts on “Could Dodgers Be a Match for Juan Soto?

  1. I definitely wouldn’t trade the prospects it would take to get Soto.
    I’d rather wait for 2 years and then go after him in free agency where it would only cost $.

    I could see both the Yanks and the Mets enter into a bidding war for him. They probably each have the prospects to get it done and could definitely both use a megastar outfielder.

    Whereas the Yankees seem to have limits when it comes to extensions, I’m not sure the Mets do.

    Long story short, I’d be totally shocked to see Soto in Dodger blue any time soon. Or probably any time later.

  2. After Kasten’s recent comments on not trading Minor League talent I do not expect the Dodgers to do a deal that gives up high rated prospects unless the team feels they are permanently blocked by another Dodger prospect or player. Dodgers have the talent to win this year and the next several with several minor league players like Vargas and Pepiot coming up. The Dodger Farm is now full of young talent that will begin arriving in 23 & 24. I believe Vargas will be in the lineup in 23. Cartaya in 24 or 25. Miller in 24 or mid 23. Busch in 23 ?? Stone, Knack, Beeter in ? 23 ish? 24? I am certain Kasten will not let the team lose draft position and draft choices again anytime soon. It’s bad business.

    1. Are you kidding? A flash in the pan? More like lightning in the bottle. Have you ever watched him? His average is down right now but he will annually challenge for batting titles and HR titles. As long as he stays healthy he is a future HOF. But I’m not sure about acquiring him at a huge cost without assurance that he signs for long term.

  3. No way AF gives up the package it would take to get him …..Unless, he agreed to some sort of contract extension. Two and a half years for probably 4 of your best prospects plus at least one MLB ready player. Nope, no way.

    1. Bear is right. Most of the trade packages I see are ridiculous unless he agrees to a new contract. If he’ll sign , all bets are off. 15 years is questionable, but there aren’t many teams that wouldn’t trade there top 4 maybes (prospects) for 10/12 years of stay. Just look at the top prospect failures this year or any year. You always go for the sure thing.

      1. It’s certainly not impossible that Soto could sign an extension as part of a trade, but I would sure bet against it.
        First of all, Boras will advise him not to.
        Secondly, if I’m a player about to commit to 12-15 years with one team, I want to first know that I’m comfortable there.

        If no extension, I think Andrew would be very unlikely to commit the prospects necessary for a 2.5 year stay.

  4. I read a list that was Lux, Cartaya, Vargas and another top prospect. There is no way one player is worth that… This is not Basketball where one player like a Jordan, LeBron, or Curry gets you a championship. Baseball games are not dominated by one guy unless its a hot pitcher.
    Lux is playing very well and with his latest approach most believe it is sustainable. Vargas will be an AS some day because of his bat the young man can hit. Cartaya may be the equal of Smith who is one of the top catchers in the NL. Plus the Dodgers would warp their salary budget. Not worth it…

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