Which teams are the favorites for Juan Soto?

Where will Juan Soto be traded to? Recent reports state that the Washington Nationals may be trading him as soon as possible. The upcoming potential ownership change makes it more likely and now the question is where will this elite slugger go? The career .293/.427/.541 21.0 WAR 23 year old superstar may be a Miami Marlins target, but where will he actually end up?

Will the Miami Marlins or another team acquire Juan Soto?

Before we continue, let’s remove teams that obviously will not be pursuing Juan Soto. Soto is already earning $17.1 million this season and hits free agency after the 2024 season, so his suitors have to be teams expecting to contend during that time and to pay him a salary that will only get higher due to arbitration. We can also remove teams that don’t have the prospect capital to acquire him. The Washington Nationals will expect a haul.

Teams out on Juan Soto based on the above parameters: Philadelphia Phillies, Oakland Athletics, Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Angels (too much invested in hitting already as well) and the Colorado Rockies.

Then there are teams that are unlikely to significantly empty their farm systems: Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates, Minnesota Twins, Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Guardians and the Baltimore Orioles. These teams rely on their prospect capital and are unlikely to give most of it up based on their contention window and other needs.

I would rule out the St. Louis Cardinals and the Toronto Blue Jays too, as they need pitching more and might not want to hurt their farms. The Houston Astros don’t really need another corner OF and DH is occupied. I feel that IF help and pitching will be bigger priorities for them.

The Tampa Bay Rays are an interesting team as despite their inability to keep Juan Soto long-term, they can ofenruslly still be major players for him by trade. They did pursue Freddie Freeman so maybe they’ll do it to improve their bad lineup?

The favorites are clearly the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres and New York Mets. All four teams have the prospect capital to make a move and all have the need for Juan Soto.

The Bronx Bombers could use an upgrade over Joey Gallo and a safety net in the case that they lose Aaron Judge to free agency after the season. The Boston Red Sox need an OF bat pretty badly. The Los Angeles Dodgers always make big trade deadline deals and he could be just the player to push them over the top. San Diego badly needs hitting, and especially in the corner OF. They’ll need to cut payroll first though. The New York Mets will have to get creative finding room for Soto, but could do it to push themselves over the top.

The Miami Marlins are unlikely to acquire Juan Soto because of the prospect cost and being division rivals with Washington. If I had to pick a team that will, I’d go with a team that always makes a splash and traded with Washington recently: the Los Angeles Dodgers.