The Washington Nationals are still fielding offers for star outfielder Juan Soto ahead of the Aug. 2 trade deadline, and the return for the slugger could be historic.
MLB Network's Mark Feinsand reported Tuesday that he's been told a deal for Soto "is going to be the biggest package you've ever seen returned for a player."
MLB Network @MLBNetwork
"One of the executives who I spoke to said 'This is going to be the biggest package you've ever seen returned for a player.'"<a href="https://twitter.com/Feinsand?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Feinsand</a> with the latest on Nationals 23-year-old phenom Juan Soto.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MLBCentral?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MLBCentral</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/LaurenShehadi?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@LaurenShehadi</a> <a href="https://t.co/PEpJVEkUCK">pic.twitter.com/PEpJVEkUCK</a>
"You've never seen a player of Juan Soto's caliber, with two-and-a-half years of control, hit the market. So, you're looking at a package of three to five of a team's top prospects in addition to one or two controllable young players who are big league ready. ... But you're talking about a package of four to six players, two or three of whom can join the Nationals roster and make an impact right now."
Feinsand said he spoke to 17 different front office executives to get their thoughts on where Soto will land. The San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers were voted as the leading candidates to acquire the 23-year-old.
Soto led the Nationals to a 4-1 win over the Dodgers on Monday, going 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBI. The 2022 Home Run Derby champion is slashing .248/.404/.895 with 20 homers and 45 RBI through 95 games.
While Soto is the most coveted player available on the trade market, there's a chance that teams will struggle to meet Washington's asking price. ESPN's Jeff Passan reported Tuesday that the Nationals could hold on to Soto and try to deal him after the season:
"On the other hand, another executive said, the impediments to a Soto deal are so significant, he sees the next week more as a feeling-out period--a precursor to an offseason move. If the Nationals don't move Soto now, they have two more months of scouting and data analysis of minor leaguers to consider."
Whether Soto is dealt by next week or during the offseason, it's clear that Washington is intent on rebuilding, and trading its star player can help the team do just that.