Report: Nationals want 4-5 top young players for Soto


LOS ANGELES -- Juan Soto won the Home Run Derby at Dodger Stadium on Monday night, but a couple of days later, he was headed to Arizona to meet up with his Washington Nationals teammates for the start of the second half. Soto is still a popular topic of conversation in Los Angeles, though. He is such a superstar within the game that there's been plenty of speculative conversation between players, coaches, and team employees about where he might land. 

The trade talks have been relatively quiet, though, since it became known last week that Soto could be available before the Aug. 2 deadline, and Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal gave a good reason for that before Saturday's nationally-televised game between the Giants and Dodgers. According to Rosenthal, the price right now is understandably sky-high.

"My understanding right now, from multiple clubs, is that the Nationals are asking for four to five top young players -- a combination of prospects and Major Leaguers with low service time," Rosenthal said on Fox's pregame show. "Now, that's a monstrous ask, but it's Juan Soto."

From the Giants' perspective, that would be a hard price to meet, but it is doable. Their best young player at the big league level is Logan Webb, although he's not going anywhere. Joey Bart would qualify, even with his early struggles, and any trades the Nationals are creating in their internal conversations surely center around Marco Luciano and Kyle Harrison, the Giants' two top prospects and two of the top 30 overall in the game. 

Luciano has been out for nearly two months with a back strain but is said to be getting close to a return. The Giants have not seen the development they hoped from other top prospects this year, but Luis Matos is still highly thought of despite some 2022 struggles. 

So yeah, the Giants do technically have what it takes to be involved, although any potential Soto trade would strip their farm system, and it's likely that other organizations can make much more appealing offers, particularly when it comes to young, controllable talent already at the big league level. 

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The Soto talk will continue to dominate over the next week-plus until the trade deadline, but there seems to be a decent chance it's ultimately tabled until the offseason. Soto is still under team control for two seasons after this one, so there's no reason for the Nationals to lower their asking price. 

"At this point, from what I'm being told, it's not really a negotiation," Rosenthal said. "The Nationals are saying either you express a willingness to meet our price or we just go to the next club." 

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