Gentle up a cigar, kick your ft up, and take an enormous breath. The Juan Soto saga is over. I doubted it might occur in any respect, however ultimately, the San Diego Padres wound up getting each Soto and veteran teammate Josh Bell for comparatively little or no. Congrats to the Padres! The deal was superb! Additionally they landed Josh Hader and now boast some of the all-around full rosters in MLB, on paper.
That distinction continues to be reliant on well being and a return to type from guys like Wil Myers — though he was being shopped just before the deadline — Trent Grisham, and Austin Nola. I do know that’s asking loads, however theoretically, they obtained some dawgs down at Petco. Up till the second that Soto to the Padres was introduced although, there have been a number of groups within the working. The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals have been the 2 groups mostly introduced up in Soto negotiations, however the Giants additionally made a small splash within the Soto tsunami. So, the place do every of those groups stand after the Padres’ sealed the deal?
Los Angeles Dodgers
Other than the Nationals, who gave away a Rolls Royce and Kia Sorrento for a few Honda Civics and no matter is behind one of many thriller doorways on”’Let’s Make a Deal,” the Dodgers are the largest losers on this commerce. Whereas they could have been leaping for pleasure at the moment final yr once they snatched Max Scherzer and Trea Turner from the Padres’ fingers on the final second, they’re now quaking of their boots on the prospect of getting Soto of their division for not less than the subsequent two and a half seasons — most likely extra.
Not solely is having to face Soto 12 instances within the the rest of the season, and presumably the postseason, a giant drawback for the Dodgers, however LA was in determined want of an outfield bat. Chris Taylor is damage, Trayce Thompson is doing effectively however he shouldn’t be counted on in key moments, James Outman is unproven, and Cody Bellinger nonetheless sucks. They wanted a strong participant to stay within the 7 or 9 slot, and in addition not be a gap of their lineup. Soto was that man, and given the Dodgers’ plethora of prospects, I’m surprised they didn’t get a deal accomplished.
The Dodgers have been so determined for assist in the outfield that they traded for Joey Gallo…JOEY GALLO! The ability risk who couldn’t achieve Yankee Stadium! That’s a sentence that ought to give each baseball fan an upset abdomen after studying it.
Gallo acknowledged earlier at this time that Yankees followers made him “really feel like shit,” so he’ll be completely satisfied to have a contemporary begin in Chavez Ravine the place his expectations can be decrease than a limbo contest in hell. That stated, if Gallo is the comfort prize within the Soto sweepstakes, then Dodgers followers must be drowning themselves in alcohol to assist cope.
By way of what Soto would’ve dropped at the desk, the Dodgers have been one of many groups that might’ve benefited least although. The Dodgers have been already close to the highest of the league by way of outfielder on-base proportion, slugging, OPS, strikeout price, and stroll price. Soto would clearly be an enormous improve for the Dodgers, however of every of the groups that have been within the working for Soto, the Dodgers doubtless would have benefited the least in the long term.
St. Louis Cardinals
With Tyler O’Neill’s struggles, Harrison Bader’s accidents, and Albert Pujols’…all the things, Soto would’ve been an enormous get for the Birds. That stated, the Cardinals can stroll away from this Soto state of affairs with their heads held excessive understanding they didn’t have to surrender their future, didn’t land an enormous identify, and nonetheless improved greater than their best divisional adversary, the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Cardinals wanted outfield assist and beginning pitching depth greater than something. Whereas buying somebody like Carlos Rodón (nonetheless doable, however unlikely) would’ve been most popular, the addition of José Quintana offers stability to a beginning rotation that’s solely had three folks begin greater than ten video games all season. Frankly, the Cardinals simply wanted somebody who may eat innings and carry them over into the postseason. Seeing as how Quintana has pitched not less than 150 innings in each full season since 2013 (besides 2021), Quintana must be much-appreciated in St. Louis.
That’s inappropriate although. The Cardinals have been in the course of MLB amongst outfielder on-base proportion, stroll price, slugging, and weighted runs created-plus. Nevertheless, for the reason that begin of June, Cardinals’ outfielders have ranked top-10 in practically each class below the solar. That’s with O’Neill struggling in addition to Bader and Yepez spending time on the IL.
The Cardinals’ lineup could be very top-heavy. The one nice hitters of their lineup this yr have been Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, and Brendan Donovan. As nuts as it’s to say, Albert Pujols is considered one of solely seven Cardinals with not less than 50 video games performed and an OPS-plus of 100 or higher. So, whereas the prospect of placing Soto at DH and letting O’Neill climb himself out of this rut he’s in might have been engaging, the Cardinals would’ve basically been limiting considered one of their higher bats this season to a platoon position. On the similar time, placing Soto within the outfield could be a drastic downgrade defensively for a gaggle that ranks third in Defensive WAR this season.
The Cardinals must be completely satisfied understanding they now have the clear-cut finest bullpen within the NL Central. They’ve been on a tear and that added depth at starter and robust bullpen goes to repay enormous down the stretch. Dropping out on Soto doesn’t change that.
San Francisco Giants
Thank Christ the Giants didn’t make this commerce. Have you learnt how braindead you’d need to be to make a commerce for Soto when the core of your workforce is all previous their prime, your farm system is fairly mild, and your offense is weaker than an amputee sloth? Opposite to what a number of Giants followers may inform you, the workforce’s 107-win 2021 season is a distant reminiscence at this level and it doesn’t appear like it’s coming again any time quickly. The Giants are greater than a robust bat and a bullpen arm away from contending once more.
Fortunately, the Giants realized that they wanted to be sellers after dropping out on Soto. Already, the Giants have introduced that All-Star Carlos Rodón is on the desk to be traded.
Additionally they traded away underrated slugger Darin Ruf for J.D. Davis and some prospects. That’s a very good get.
Plus, Trevor Rosenthal obtained traded. I’ll be sincere, I didn’t know he had any worth in any respect at this level in his profession. So, if the Giants obtained something for him…something in any respect, good on their entrance workplace.
The Giants benefitted essentially the most from dropping out on Soto, as a result of it confirmed the Giants’ entrance workplace that they’ll’t afford to maintain pushing for a World Sequence with their growing old core. They took a step again, regarded within the mirror, and stated “What are we even doing?” and, as a Giants fan myself, I’m ever so grateful for that realization.
San Francisco is linked closely to Aaron Choose in free company this offseason and whereas Choose is older, dearer, and extra susceptible to strikeouts, he wouldn’t price the Giants any of their high prospects, which might’t be overstated for a workforce that has failed to achieve expectations as a result of they couldn’t get one other 24 dwelling runs and 90 RBIs from their 35-year-old shortstop. They’re at present below .500 and have been falling additional and farther from the playoff bubble each day for the reason that begin of June. This wanted to occur.
In accordance with OddsChecker US, the one workforce among the many groups I simply listed to have their World Sequence odds significantly affected by the commerce was the St. Louis Cardinals, who fell from +3000 odds to +4000. The Giants have been already lengthy pictures and stayed just about the identical, and the Dodgers’ odds didn’t change in any respect, staying put at +380. Humorous sufficient although, after the Dodgers acquired Gallo, their odds improved to +360. I’m certain that’ll make each Yankees fan scoff.
Whereas the Padres’ odds have jumped from +2000 to +800 with the commerce, bettors don’t appear inclined to place cash on the Friars. Because the commerce was introduced, solely 6.1 p.c of World Sequence bets have been positioned on San Diego. That ranks fifth in MLB, and fourth within the Nationwide League, behind the likes of the Dodgers, Mets, and sure…the Cardinals. Maybe the concerns surrounding their rotational depth are pushing bettors away, however let or not it’s identified, essentially the most improved workforce from this entire ordeal is undoubtedly the Padres. Don’t get it twisted.