Why the Nationals dealing Juan Soto would be a rare deal in MLB originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Next week we may see a very rare MLB trade.
The Washington Nationals entertain suggestions for Juan Soto ahead Trade deadline is August 2. The outfielder is a superstar on the block after opting out of the biggest 15-year, $440 million contract in sports.
If the Nets pull the trigger on a deal in the coming days, it will be one of the rarest deals in MLB history.
Soto is not only an elite player, he is also very young. The two-time All-Star, under club control for two more seasons, turns just 24 in October.
The last player to make an All-Star Game and switch teams before his 26th birthday was Miguel Cabrera in 2007. The Marlins sent the 24-year-old four-time All-Star to Cabrera along with Dontrell Willis to the Tigers in exchange for Dallas Trachern, Burke Badenhop, Frankie De La Cruz, Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller and Mike Rabelais. Suffice it to say that the trade turned out to be a massive a steal for Detroit.
Cabrera, st the latest member of the 3000 hit clubit’s a lock to make Baseball Hall of Fame and it’s not crazy to expect Soto to join him in Cooperstown one day. Soto’s career OPS of .964 would rank him 16th list of all time (Sotto has yet to reach the minimum number of games played to actually qualify for the list).
The 15 players with a better career OPS than Soto on the all-time list consist of 11 Hall of Famers, Barry BondsMark McGwire, Manny Ramirez and Mike Trout. Of those 14 players, only one changed teams at age 25 or younger: Babe Ruth. The Boston Red Sox infamously sold the Bambino to a competitor at the age of 24 New York Yankees for $100,000 in 1919. Just like the Cabrera trade, the Ruth deal turned out to be very one-sided.
In keeping with the all-time greats, a total of 180 Hall of Famers have appeared in an MLB game at the age of 23 or younger, as Soto did. Among this group, 28 were sold before their 24th birthday. Roberto Alomar was the most recent, going with San Diego Padres to the Toronto Blue Jays at age 22 in 1990.
Finally, in terms of wins over replacement, Soto’s trade would be historic. The Home Run Derby 2022 Champion amassed a career WAR at age 20 as he plays in his fifth professional season. But there is never was the trade in MLB history involving a player age 23 or younger with a career WAR of at least 20 years.
Given all that, the Nats should be asking for a month in return for Soto. I it sounds like them.