The Washington Nationals trade deadline in 2022 is bound to be a busy one. It’s perhaps not for the right reasons, but the Nationals have some of the best players available at the trade deadline, which means a lot of teams are going to be fielding a lot of calls.
That will be particularly true if the Nats end up trading Juan Soto, who is dominating the rumor mill right now.
Nationals trade deadline 2022
With that in mind, who are the Nationals’ trade targets with regard to the top prospects they can pursue in potential trades. After all, a Soto trade package would give Washington quite a few top prospects.
If the Nationals trade Solo, as well as Bell and Cruz, here are some of the notable prospects who could be involved in the Nationals’ trade deadline 2022 plans.
Francisco Alvarez, Mets
Francisco Alvarez is currently ranked among the best prospects in baseball at any position. Among catchers, some consider him to be a generational talent as a hitter, so his upside is massive if he’s able to become a competent receiver and defensive catcher.
In other words, he’s a big deal, so if the Nationals trade Soto within the division to the rival Mets, they will surely require the Mets to give up Alvarez. Granted, the Nationals may have acquired their catcher of the future when they got Keibert Ruiz from the Dodgers last summer for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner. But there’s nothing wrong with having two quality catchers, especially with a universal DH.
That means the Nast would very much like to acquire Alvarez, who’s already in triple-A at age 20 and might have enough of an offensive profile for the Nats to consider trading Soto to one of their division rivals.
Anthony Volpe, Yankees
The Nationals already have a couple of high-ceiling shortstops in their farm system, but nobody like Anthony Volpe, who’s among the top-10 prospects in all of baseball.
The Yankees, of course, have five top-100 and three top-40 prospects, but Volpe would have to be involved in a trade involving Soto.
He has all of the tools and intangibles to be a quality shortstop in the majors. He also had a huge season offensively in 2021 despite no minor league season in 2020. Volpe is also on track to be ready for his MLB debut in 2023, which means Washington’s long-term answer at shortstop could be in the majors sooner rather than later, helping to accelerate their rebuilding effort.
Jordan Walker, Cardinals
A trade of Soto, who is arguably the best hitter in baseball, could allow the Nationals to acquire the best third base prospect in baseball, which is Jordan Walker.
The 20-year-old was a first-round pick in 2020 but has already reached double-A. Even as one of the youngest players in double-A, Walker is hitting over .300 with an OPS that’s pushing .900.
With a 6’5’’ frame, Walker’s power potential is exceptional, yet he’s able to hit for a high average as well. While he won’t be a Gold Glover defensively, Walker’s bat will more than make up for any defensive shortcomings. Plus, with the universal DH, it’ll be easier for him to be the type of impact slugger who can help the nationals stomach the loss of Soto over the long run.
Robert Hassell, Padres
The Padres have a few MLB-ready players who they could use in a trade for Soto, which is why San Diego is a distinct possibility for him. But the Nationals would also insist on acquiring Hassell, who is San Diego’s top prospect. The left-hand hitting outfielder isn’t as far advanced in the minors as some other prospects the Nats could acquire.
However, he has five tools that are average or better, so the upside is there. Robert Hassell profiles as a corner outfielder who will provide plenty of pop and play solid defense. He may not become what Soto is, but he’s someone who could ultimately help replace him in the Washington outfield.
Bobby Miller, Dodgers
The Nationals’ trade deadline in 2022 could involve a blockbuster with the Dodgers, just like it did in 2021 when Washington shipped Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to Los Angeles. Among pitching prospects the Nationals can hope to acquire in a trade involving Soto, Bobby Miller is probably the best.
He may not get to the big leagues until next year, but Miller could be worth the wait. He throws his fastball in the upper 90s and has three other pitchers that could end up being above-average offerings. While his numbers in double-A this year look rather modest, Miller is surely honing his craft and has the stuff to be a future ace.
Marco Luciano, Giants
The Giants could be a contender in the Soto sweepstakes, offering Marco Luciano to the Nats as the centerpiece of a package. He’s only 20 and hasn’t reached double-A yet, so the Nats would need to be a little more patient with him.
He also might not be a shortstop in the long run. But Luciano’s bat speed is serious, so the power potential is there. He also has the arm strength to be a positive influence defensively somewhere else on the diamond.
Noelvi Marte, Mariners
The Mariners are probably a long shot to land Soto, although they could create a package that involves Noelvi Marte as the main piece.
With the way Julio Rodriguez has blossomed, Seattle has some credibility when it comes to international players, so Marte could be the next in line.
The 20-year-old shortstop has similar power to Rodriguez and still isn’t close to filling out his body. Marte also has above-average speed and arm strength, so he could potentially be the whole package.