The trade deadline for Major League Baseball is quickly approaching. August 2 could be one of the most exciting days of the season. Many big name players could be on the move on or before that date. Of course, none of these names are bigger than Juan Soto, the Washington Nationals star outfielder who reportedly turned down a 15-year $440 million extension. With two and a half seasons of club control remaining, the Nationals are expected to receive one of the most massive hauls in recent memory if they can get a deal done. Earlier this week, I reported that one MLB exec named the Brewers as one of his top three most likely teams to trade for this year’s Home Run Derby champion. In an interesting twist, Soto “liked” a Tweet on Twitter that said the Brewers were making a run for him.
Surely, if this were to be a deal that the Brewers made, it would automatically become one of, if not THE biggest trades in the history of the franchise.
David Stearns’ History of Trades
David Stearns is not the Brewers general manager. That’s Tom Arnold. However, no deal is done without Stearns playing a major role in it. Keeping this in mind, fans will recall that Stearns is very reluctant to part with top five prospects. While his trades have, for the most part, been huge successes, they have been so because of the tremendous value the Brewers received. What I mean by this is that the Brewers ended up giving up players who did not meet the production of the player(s) they received in return.
Trades that the Brewers made under Stearns that fit this description:
- Freddy Peralta was acquired in a trade with the Mariners for Adam Lind
- Travis Shaw was acquired in a trade with the Red Sox for Tyler Thornberg
- In the only instance in which Stearns gave up top prospects, Christian Yelich was acquired for minor leaguers headlined by Lewis Brinson
- Omar Narvaez was acquired for low-A prospect Adam Hill
A few that did not turn out as well for the Brewers:
- Chase Anderson and Aaron Hill were acquired for Jean Segura
- Jacob Nottingham came to the Brewers in exchange for Khris Davis
- Phil Bickford was acquired for Will Smith
- Martin Maldonado won a Gold Glove after the Brewers traded him for Jett Bandy
Aside from the Christian Yelich trade, one could argue the biggest trade Stearns made was when he sent Trent Grisham and Zach Davies to the Padres for Luis Urias and Eric Lauer. Personally, I think the Brewers got the better end of that deal.
What Would It Take to Get Juan Soto in a Brewers Uniform?
Having established the types of trades that the Brewers have made under Stearns, it is easy to see that a trade for Juan Soto would be completely out of the ordinary. In fact, it could be argued that the last time the Brewers made any kind of move like this was when they sent four prospects to Cleveland for CC Sabathia for a half-season rental. It worked out, but it is far from the norm in Milwaukee.
So, all that being established, here is a trade proposal that could potentially get Juan Soto to Milwaukee. All trade values come from Baseball Trade Values, a site used by ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
- Juan Soto (176.8)
- Jackson Chourio (40.5): Brewers #1 Prospect
- Sal Frelick (18.5): Brewers #2 Prospect
- Tyrone Taylor (12.5)
- Brice Turang (12.9): Brewers #5 Prospect
- Joey Wiemar (25.3): Brewers #3 Prospect
- Jeferson Quero (7.2): Brewers #6 Prospect
Now, I’m going to stop here for a moment. The total trade value of these six players is 116.9, which is nowhere near Juan Soto’s 176.8 value. When I ran the trade simulator with these players, I received this message:
As you can see, the Brewers are about 60 trade value points away from matching Soto’s value. Of all the players left on the Brewers roster, just three will get them close enough to make the trade work. These players are:
- Willy Adames (53.3)
- Aaron Ashby (54.2)
- Brandon Woodruff (51.9)
As one can see, any trade for Juan Soto is going to drastically alter the long-term future of the Milwaukee Brewers. Of course, they could seriously compete for a World Series for the next two seasons with Soto on the team. However, he will likely leave after that and then, well, the Brewers will rebuild. A World Series title (or two or three) would certainly make the trade worth it. However, that is far from a guarantee.
Related: A Brewers trade centered around Tyrone Taylor could bring immediate help
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What would it take for the Brewers to trade for Soto? Reckless irresponsibility and complete loss of common sense.