Ken Rosenthal reported today that Juan Soto had declined a $440 million contract offer from the Washington Nationals. It comes somewhat as a surprise, given there was some confidence within Nat's organization that they could re-sign him. I have not seen anything yet on whether or not Soto is declining because of money or because he wants to win. Let's assume it's a combination of both, which is fair given the state of the Nationals. They are 30-62 and have made it clear they are rebuilding. Soto is 23, but he doesn't want to waste prime years rebuilding a team, especially one where he has already won a World Series.
You'd have to imagine every team is going to take a shot at Soto; you'd be a fool not to. I decided to use Baseball Trade Values to try and come up with a deal. Below you can take a look at it.
I want to preface this by saying that I would not want this trade to happen as a Red Sox fan. The total value you see is the median number. On the high end, it is equivalent to what Soto is worth. However, it is a deal that I believe the Nationals would at least somewhat consider. You are getting a combination of MLB-ready players as well as prospects. The Sox can hold onto Mayer and a few other prospects so that they have a future. You please the fans who want to see Houck leave the team for reasons I will not put in writing for fear of getting flagged. Duran has shown in a small sample size that he could be a team's, lead-off man. Bello has sick stuff but just needs a little more development; where better to develop than on a rebuilding team that isn't in the middle of a playoff race and can't afford to keep him in the big leagues.
Now, the elephant in the room... Xander Bogaerts. It's the cherry on top, but the Nationals have to take the risk of him not wanting to re-sign with them. When Mookie Betts was traded to the Dodgers, there were talks that he would just come back and re-sign with the Red Sox. That, of course, did not happen. But the Nationals at least have a chance at Bogaerts, arguably the best SS in the MLB.
I'm not going to dive into whether the Red Sox will be able to afford Soto and Devers. That is for another day. I just wanted to throw out a trade that doesn't break the bank but gives the Nationals some solid value.