Nationals superstar outfielder Juan Soto will be the subject of trade rumors for the next nine days, heading into August 2 trade deadline. It’s unavoidable at this point, until he actually gets dealt.
Soto is back at Dodger Stadium for the second straight week, though he hasn’t been traded yet. He and the Nationals start a three-game series against the Dodgers on Monday night. But let’s take a brief look at some of the rumors and the aura surrounding the 23-year-old hitting savant.
“It’s more about assessing the specific need, and also the top-end type players that aren’t necessarily a need, but don’t become available all that often,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said over the weekend without mentioning Soto by name, per Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times. “When they do, you always see that process through. That’s kind of our mindset heading into these last couple weeks.”
Dave Roberts was on the National League All-Star coaching staff last Tuesday, and heard the chants from the Los Angeles crowd, serenading Soto with “Future Dodger” over and over. “It was hard to miss,” Roberts said Sunday, per Bill Plunkett at the Orange County Register.
Juan Toribio at MLB.com broke down what it might take for the Dodgers to land Soto.
- Evan Phillips threw a sinker on June 21 for the first time in six years, telling Ken Rosenthal at The Athletic he wanted another weapon to use inside against right-handed hitters. Phillips has thrown the pitch 23 times this season, per Baseball Savant, including twice on Sunday.
- Hanser Alberto had a cortisone shot in his right knee at the end of June, J.P. Hoornstra of the Daily News reported over the weekend. Alberto had an extra-base his in three straight starts before going hitless in two at-bats on Saturday.
- The Dodgers superstars are leading the way, says Jim Alexander of the Orange County Register.
- Monday is decision day for MLB owners and the Players Association to come to an agreement on an international draft. If they don’t reach agreement Monday, the issue is tabled until the next collective bargaining agreement and the qualifying offer for major league free agents remains. Alden Gonzalez at ESPN breaks down the talks, in which both sides are pretty far apart.