Should the Houston Astros Make a Move for Juan Soto?

Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports /
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Juan Soto recently rejected a $440 million contract offer from the Nationals. The Houston Astros are a team that could swoop in and offer a package. 

A recent report from Ken Rosenthal states that Juan Soto has rejected a massive contract offer from the Nationals, which has now led Washington to entertain trade offers for the young superstar. In fact, if he rejects any ensuing last-ditch contract offer, it seems likely that they will.

Everything has fallen apart with the Nationals’ organization since they won the World Series in 2019. In the years following, they have a record of 121-193 while trading away stars like Max Scherzer and Trea Turner. It’s clear that Juan Soto wants to continue his career elsewhere but the package to acquire a player like him would be something we have never seen before.

The Houston Astros have been in the market for an outfielder and acquiring a special talent like Juan Soto just might make this team unstoppable. A package for Soto would have to include MLB-proven talent and a boatload of top prospects for the Nationals to not hang up the phone. The Astros don’t necessarily have a great prospect pool but they do have a ton of young talent to possibly send over to Washington.

Before I give a potential trade offer for Juan Soto, let’s look at his career stats to see what a team would be getting if they acquired him. In his five years in the MLB, Soto has 117 HR, 354 RBI, and a batting average of .292. One of the best things about Juan Soto is his discipline at the plate (18.9% career walk rate), and he has a career OPS of .968 which is the 3rd-best in baseball over that timespan. He isn’t the greatest defensively but his presence at the plate makes up for his average fielding. The young phenom is only 23 years old and still has a ton of time to improve his game and remain one of the best players in all of baseball.

No one knows what Soto’s real value is when it comes to a trade but here’s my best mock trade offer that would be fair for both sides:

Houston Astros receive: Juan Soto

Washington Nationals receive: Cristian Javier, Jeremy Peña, Hunter Brown, Colin Barber, Jaime Melendez

Now, you may look at this trade from the Astros’ perspective and immediately say no but you have to remember the type of player you are trading for. Houston would be giving up a young starting pitcher in Javier along with a rookie in Peña. They would also be giving up their top prospect in Hunter Brown, as well as another top-10 prospect in outfielder Colin Barber. Jaime Melendez ranks just outside of the top ten prospects in the Astros organization according to MLB Pipeline but he’s a young deceptive pitcher that has a ton of upside.

A lineup that has Yordan Alvarez, Juan Soto, Jose Altuve, and Alex Bregman looks great but I don’t think the Astros should make a trade for Juan Soto. The size of any trade package will be out of this world, as would the price tag of a contract extension. Houston has been successful for the last couple of years without a player like Juan Soto and they will be just fine with what they have now. Grabbing a superstar like him would be great but the organization also has to stay focused on the future and not ruin their farm system.

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