- ESPN MLB insider
Author of “The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports”
For all of the deadline oxygen that Juan Soto is hogging since the news of his trade availability broke last week, lest we not forget there are 1,199 other players on teams’ big league rosters and thousands more in the minor leagues whose names will be bandied about the next week. Here are the players, teams and classes you need to know — offensive edition — and the latest news on who could be going where.
Nothing illustrates the difficulty in pulling off a potential Soto deal more than split opinions of front-office executives about whether the Washington Nationals star will actually be moved before the deadline. For every official who believes Soto goes, there’s another who is convinced he stays.
The chatter is certain to ratchet up in the coming days, as perhaps the foremost question comes into focus as the deadline nears: Will GM Mike Rizzo hold firm on the exceptionally high asks that sources told ESPN have been put out to teams, or will he relent slightly, if moving Soto is not something the Nationals are just considering, but actively planning?
Multiple executives involved in Soto trade discussions said they are unsure. One believes Soto is moving regardless because of the team’s ownership status. The Nationals currently are up for sale, and the notion that new ownership’s first move would be to trade a future Hall of Famer in his early prime, the executive said, is problematic. Dealing Soto now, he said, would offer the new owner a clean slate.
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