A potential Juan Soto trade remains the talk of the MLB Trade Deadline but these dark horse teams could surprise and try to deal for the superstar.
It’s hard to have a conversation about the MLB Trade Deadline at this point without Juan Soto entering it. Whether or not the Washington Nationals, who are reportedly fielding offers for the 23-year-old superstar, will deal Soto ahead of the Aug. 2 deadline is the biggest story in baseball — and rightfully so.
As far as trade destinations go, many of the usual suspects have been mentioned, such as the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros and many others, as clubs that could make a big move to try and get the blockbuster deal done.
Yet, there could be some dark horses looming as potential trade partners for the Nats.
Juan Soto rumors: Dark horse trade destinations include Brewers, Rangers, Rays
MLB.com conducted a survey of 17 executives around the league as to who the “favorites” are to pull off the Juan Soto trade. And among the names commonly mentioned, the Milwaukee Brewers, Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays stood out from the pack as potential sleepers to make the move.
The Brewers and Rangers each received just one vote while the Rays were actually among the teams receiving multiple with three executives singling out Tampa Bay, the same number that said the Yankees, Cardinals, Mets and Mariners.
For all three teams, you can see the reasoning as to why they’d be in the Juan Soto sweepstakes.
Milwaukee has arguably the best young pitching staff in baseball but their lineup lacks serious pop from top-to-bottom, a problem that Soto would immediately solve. Texas has been aggressive in the past year in reshaping its roster, most notably with the additions of Corey Seager and Marcus Semien, and Soto could be the next big move.
As for the Rays, they have long prided themselves as an organization on their valuation and development of young stars. Soto, at just 23 years old, wouldn’t be homegrown but is already a star with room to get even better. An asset-rich organization could look to add a superstar to the mix alongside another young stud in Wander Franco, among others.
Whether or not a Soto trade comes to fruition before Aug. 2 or if it takes until the winter meetings remains to be seen. But based on what’s being said right now, there will be no shortage of buyers trying to strike a deal with the Nats.