Reason #1: The Mariners have the talent to make the deal
Even with the graduation of super-prospect Julio Rodriguez, the Seattle Mariners still have one of the league’s top farm systems. There’s no lack of pitching talent, either recently graduated, or early in their journey. And while the hitting talent has had a few noticeable graduations, there’s some elite talent, highlighted by #1 prospect Noelvi Marte.
The Nationals won the world series in 2019 with a handful of star players, but it was their depth that pushed them to a title. Their rotation was so deep that they had their 100 million dollar #3 pitcher in the regular season, coming out of the bullpen in the playoffs.
Other than prime Anthony Rendon, Trea Turner, and Soto, the rest of the team was full of role players that stepped up in the biggest moments. These current Nationals lack talent and depth at numerous spots and being in the ultra-competitive NL East, you need a bunch of good players, rather than one star.
The trade would be huge, and it would likely drop Seattle’s prospect rankings by at least ten spots, but it goes back to winning championships, not a puff piece article in March every year.
This trade is going to be painful, but I believe it is worth it. No matter what happens this summer, I don’t honestly ever believe Jarred Kelenic will rise to the level of a Juan Soto. I really like Kelenic, but if that’s a piece that gets me 25% of the way to Juan Soto, then you begin the negotiations. From there I’m also sending Marte to Washington, along with Seattle’s #2 pitching prospect Emerson Hancock.
A package headlined by Kelenic and Marte, two #1 level prospects, and front half of the rotation arm in Hancock is a legit start. You’re likely going to have to offer two lottery ticket level prospects, and maybe even a more MLB-ready player. If healthy, Kyle Lewis in 2023 could be a DH that the Nationals would covet in a deal.
A six-for-one deal is steep, but Seattle keeps Julio, Gilbert, Kirby, and Ford. I wouldn’t move that core four, but anyone else should be on the table for such an asset as Soto.