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St. Louis Cardinals are reportedly ‘front runners’ in Juan Soto trade talks with Washington Nationals

Jason Burgos
st. louis cardinals, juan soto
Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

As at least a dozen teams pursue Washington Nationals star Juan Soto, it looks like the St. Louis Cardinals may have jumped to the front of the pack to land the gifted outfielder.

For weeks, talented players like Luis Castillo, Andrew Benintendi, and Willson Contreras had received the lion’s share of the talk when it came to which impact players could be moved ahead of the Aug. 2 MLB trade deadline. However, that all changed two weeks ago when Juan Soto turned down a massive $440 million contract offer from Washington.

Related: Nationals reportedly prefer ‘major-league-ready players’ in a Juan Soto trade

With Soto on the market, nearly half of the league is interested in making a deal for the uber-talented 23-year-old. And since he has two and a half years left on his contract, this is not just a sweepstake for the big market clubs that can pay him the rumored half billion dollar deal he is looking for. No, his gifts are so undeniable that small to mid-market teams are even willing to sell the majority of the farm just to rent the two-time All-Star for a few seasons.

St. Louis Cardinals ‘good farm system’ has the Washington Nationals’ attention

st. louis cardinals, juan soto
Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

One of the plethoras of organizations that have inquired about Soto’s availability is the St. Louis Cardinals, and it seems they have the Nationals’ full attention.

Last week, ESPN MLB insider Buster Olney reported that Washington wants young controllable talent that can make an impact right away in any possible Juan Soto trade. Well, on Monday NY Post MLB insider Jon Heyman seemed to confirm that fact with the news that rival teams view the Cardinals as front runners to land Soto because of their wealth of youthful talent in the major and minor leagues level.

“The Nats are an organization that relies heavily on scouting, and there’s word they like a lot of the Cardinals’ young players and prospects. The Cardinals line up for what the Nationals want — not just prospects, but young, controllable players already in the majors. Their top young major leaguers include outfielders Dylan Carlson, Harrison Bader and Tyler O’Neill, plus infielders Nolan Gorman and Brendan Donovan. Third baseman Jordan Walker, shortstop Masyn Winn and pitcher Matt Liberatore are among the best prospects in the sport.”

Jon Heyman on nationals-cardinals trade for Juan soto

It has been said that Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo is the type that when he identifies players he wants he focuses on discussions with those teams. It looks like that has happened here and other suitors in the Soto sweepstakes are starting to fall by the waist-side.