It’s probably safe to assume every organization across Major League Baseball has called, or will call, the Washington Nationals to gauge their asking price on superstar outfielder Juan Soto.
The Boston Red Sox are no different in that regard.
Chaim Bloom was asked Thursday (in somewhat vague terms) on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” about the trade rumors surrounding Soto. And while the Red Sox chief baseball officer declined to comment on Soto specifically, per Major League Baseball rules, his response still shed light on how the franchise views a possible blockbuster for a player of that ilk.
“I mean, we’d be silly not to look into any kind of talented player,” Bloom said. “It’s not appropriate — I actually can’t, by baseball rules, talk about anybody else’s players in that fashion. But we’d be silly not to explore any kind of star talent that becomes available.
“When you do that, look, you’re always weighing upside and downside, and some of the things that you guys talked about and have asked me about in this conversation, which is there’s always a little bit of element of added risk with somebody from the outside in that context relative to the guys who are here.”
Soto is a unique case in that he’s an accomplished generational talent under contract for two more seasons beyond 2022. He’s turning just 24 in October and already has established himself as one of the best players in baseball. It’s rare someone like him becomes available via trade.
Yet the Nationals are exploring trade options for the two-time All-Star after he rejected a 15-year, $440 million contract extension. It’ll require an absolute haul to pry Soto away from the nation’s capital, but his talent, term and remaining room for growth are such that every team should have some level of interest.
That includes the Red Sox, regardless of whether they buy or sell before next week’s MLB trade deadline. Boston simply needs to decide how aggressive it’s willing to be in pursuit of Soto, or anyone else, knowing it’ll also have internal decisions to make on Xander Bogaerts (can opt out of his contract after this season) and Rafael Devers (able to hit free agency after next season).
“Sometimes, the things that are the biggest and splashiest aren’t always the best moves,” Bloom said. “But sometimes, they’re really good moves. And our job is to figure out the difference between those two things and then to follow up on whatever the best move is for the organization.”
In other words, yeah, the Red Sox probably will check in on Soto. Just like everyone else. But actually swinging a deal, while fun in theory, would prove extremely difficult.