Let’s start with this: Just about everything you hear surrounding Juan Soto right now is conjecture. The speculation is outracing reality, and a trade in the coming weeks still would qualify as a stunner.
The Nationals have not been able to sign the superstar to a long-term deal, so they have publicly made it known that he is available. It might be a public relations ploy to convince their fans they tried (15 years, $440 million) to re-sign the superstar; it might be a leverage play so Soto can tell his agent, Scott Boras, that he does not want to be traded and never wants to leave Washington.
Soto cannot be a free agent until after the 2024 season, so even if the Nationals come to the conclusion they have to trade him, they can maximize the return in the offseason or this time next year. There is no rush to complete a blockbuster by Aug. 2. A trade deadline that seems to be on the verge of historic instead might be hushed.
Especially complicating an already-complicated situation in Washington is the fact the club is for sale. Does the Lerner family, who has presided over the Nationals since 2006, want their final act and lasting legacy to be as the people who shipped out a slugger most commonly compared with Ted Williams?