The MLB trade deadline is fast approaching, and the sweepstakes for Washington Nationals star Juan Soto is reportedly heating up.
According to MLB insider Jim Bowden, the three teams considered finalists to land Soto are the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals. Teams have until 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday to get a deal done.
Per Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the Texas Rangers had been among the teams pursuing Soto, but it appears they are longer in the running.
Bowden added that the Cardinals are offering the most talent from their major league roster, while the Padres are offering the most talent from their farm system. The Nationals are believed to be seeking a substantial package of young prospects in exchange for Soto.
ESPN's Buster Olney reported Thursday that San Diego was perceived to be the front-runner to acquire the 23-year-old slugger. The Padres have a strong selection of young players to include in trade offers, including their top two prospects, center fielder Robert Hassell III and catcher Luis Campusano.
The Dodgers and Cardinals also have highly touted youngsters they can build trade packages around, but it remains to be seen if they have enough to entice the Nationals to part ways with Soto, who has been in a slump amid the ongoing rumors.
The two-time All-Star is batting .246 with 20 home runs and 45 RBI entering Sunday. Since returning from the All-Star break, Soto has just five hits in 35 plate appearances.
Despite his recent struggles, Soto is one of the best young players in the majors and will turn whichever team he lands with into an instant contender to represent the National League in the World Series.