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Juan Soto turned down a monster contract offer from the Washington Nationals, hinting he could be available for trade. The Cubs would make a lot of sense, but not right now.
Any trade for Soto before the deadline would likely involved a contender, and the Cubs are not that. It’s understandable why the Chicago front office would be more focused on selling some of the assets they already have, rather than adding a player of Soto’s caliber.
So, does that mean Jed Hoyer and Co. are out on Soto?
Not so fast. There’s no rush. Nats general manager Mike Rizzo previously said flat-out that he was not interested in trading Soto at the deadline. Do we really believe one contract spat would change that?
Soto is only 23 years old, and he’s signed through his age-26 season. At the very least, waiting until the offseason has some benefit for Washington, rather than rushing to deal him by Aug. 2.
Cubs rumors: Juan Soto fit makes some sense
Chicago’s best bet is to wait until the offseason, or perhaps even longer, and see how the Soto situation develops. The Cubs are by no means ready to compete, and their window won’t be open for several more years. If anything, they’re far more similar than the Nationals as some fans realize.
Cubbies Crib’s Jake Misener does a good job summing up Soto’s outlook, and a potential move to Chicago in his recent column:
“The major-market Cubs are well on their way to another top-10 pick in the MLB Draft next summer with a payroll that’s essentially league average. The offense lacks any sort of transformative presence – and Soto would immediately change that. But I have a lot of trouble believing Jed Hoyer and Carter Hawkins have spent the last 20 months stockpiling prospects with the goal of trading a great many of them for a player of Soto’s caliber.”
While any team would be better off with Soto in hand, odds are Chicago’s front office isn’t adding all that prospect capital just to turn around and trade it to Washington.
Waiting for the offseason, or better yet free agency in a few years to provide Soto with that record contract, makes more sense in the end.