The Washington Nationals plan to entertain trade offers for superstar right fielder Juan Soto after he reportedly rejected their 15-year, $440 million proposal, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
As for what it would take to land him, ESPN's Jeff Passan provided an idea via an MLB general manager.
Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
Front offices are already having the conversations: What is it going to take to acquire Juan Soto in the wake of him turning down a 15-year, $440 million contract offer from the Nationals? And the answer is: The biggest trade package ever. “A Herschel Walker deal,” one GM said.
The "Herschel Walker deal" part is in reference to the Dallas Cowboys' trade of the star running back and three draft picks to the Minnesota Vikings in 1989 for four players and eight selections, including first-rounders in 1990, 1991 and 1992. That laid the foundation for the Cowboys' three Super Bowls from 1992 to 1995.
Soto could very well command a similar haul before the Aug. 2 trade deadline. He's just 23 years old with a five-year resume that includes two All-Star Game nods, two Silver Slugger Awards, a World Series title, the 2020 National League batting title and a runner-up finish in the 2021 NL MVP race.
This year, he's hitting .247 (.895 OPS) with 19 home runs and 42 RBI. Per FanGraphs, his .390 wOBA ranks seventh.
Naturally, one of the game's brightest young stars should merit a foundational package for the rebuilding Nats as the last-place team looks for brighter days. Soto is an on-base machine to boot.
Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post gave an idea of what it might take to get Soto:
Passan did as well through a different lens, using the Los Angeles Dodgers as an example:
Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
Every team has an algorithm that assigns a dollar value to a player. These numbers from <a href="https://twitter.com/BaseballValues?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BaseballValues</a> are one example of those. Cannot imagine the Dodgers would do a deal like this. But it gives you a sense of just how much talent the Nationals would look to reap for Juan Soto. <a href="https://t.co/53GknQWV4b">pic.twitter.com/53GknQWV4b</a>
Soto has two more arbitration years and won't become a free agent until the 2024-25 offseason.
At this juncture, however, it appears his days in Washington, D.C., are numbered and potentially coming to a rapid end. The question now is which team will emerge with the best offer for one of the game's greats.