Are Yankees, Dodgers or Giants Better Juan Soto Fit amid Latest MLB Trade Rumors?

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBAFeatured Columnist IVJuly 22, 2022

Are Yankees, Dodgers or Giants Better Juan Soto Fit amid Latest MLB Trade Rumors?

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    The Juan Soto sweepstakes are off and running.

    Seven teams have already expressed interest in the 23-year-old super-slugger, including the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, per USA Today's Bob Nightengale.

    Each big-market, big-money franchise has the prospect arsenal to broker a deal and the resources to potentially cover a colossal contract extension for Soto.

    They're all sensible suitors, but which makes the most sense? We'll examine each situation before making that call.

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    The Dodgers have made a hobby of collecting stars in recent years, and while their lineup doesn't necessarily need Soto, there really is no such thing as having too many electric bats.

    Plus, Soto could help this core chase championships and then anchor the next one. Freddie Freeman is 32 years old, and Mookie Betts turns 30 in October. They should have plenty of prime seasons still ahead of them, but Soto offers a different level of longevity.

    The Dodgers have the payroll and farm system to win this sweepstake and sign Soto to his next deal (plus cover the cost of Patrick Corbin, if the Nationals demand his inclusion in the trade).

New York Yankees

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    The thought of planting Soto in a lineup already featuring massive boppers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton is terrifying—and that's coming from someone who wouldn't actually have to pitch against them.

    Soto might be more luxury than necessity right now, since New York already paces MLB in runs (504), home runs (160) and RBI (479). Having said that, he would absolutely mash in this lineup, particularly with Yankee Stadium's short porch in right. He could also prove invaluable as insurance should Judge opt to head elsewhere in free agency.

    This isn't the cleanest fit around, though. The prospect cost could be massive (think Anthony Volpe, Jasson Dominguez and more), and the Yankees might have to find a new home for Joey Gallo. That's a lot of leg work to improve a lineup that is already baseball's best, and New York could be better off bulking up its pitching depth instead.

San Francisco Giants

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    The Giants don't have quite the same zip as last year's 107-win squad, and with all due respect to Joc Pederson, there is a notable lack of stardom on the roster. The appeal of Soto in San Francisco is obvious.

    The payroll has more than enough flexibility for Soto, as they'll cut a ton of costs this summer and have only Anthony DeSclafani on the books for 2024. The prospect collection could be good enough to get something done with Marco Luciano and Kyle Harrison as the headliners, but if it's not, the Giants have the money to tack on Corbin if needed.

    Now, this lineup is already lefty-heavy, and AT&T park probably wouldn't be Soto's favorite place to play, so there are ways to gripe a bit about the fit. Still, Soto's age, stardom and top-shelf hit tool should all highly intrigue the Giants.

And the Best Fit Is...

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    Soto is the kind of megastar who can fit virtually anywhere. Even teams who aren't in contention now could conceivably give chase if they think he could help usher in their breakthrough.

    That's a long-winded way of saying none of these three options are bad fits, but L.A. is probably the best.

    The Dodgers keep themselves ready for superstar pursuits, and they often get the players they want (see: Mookie Betts, Trea Turner and Max Scherzer in recent years). They have the prospect depth to do a straight-up swap for Soto and the willingness to spend should Washington want to shed a big deal, like Corbin's.

    Strike this deal and Soto helps the Dodgers chase championships for at least the next three seasons. If they convince him to stick around once free agency arrives, he might be leading annual title pursuits for a decade-plus.

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