The Braves are expected to be in the market for a starting left fielder after Jon Heyman reported the club is expected to decline Eddie Rosario’s $9 million option.
There are several free agent options, but if you ask Ronald Acuna Jr., it’s a potential trade target that he’d like to play with in Atlanta’s outfield. In response to the Braves announcing the decision to decline Brad Hand’s option, the soon-to-be MVP responded they need Tomás Pérez, who is the current batting practice pitcher, back.
Someone then responded with a question for Acuna. If you could pick any other current MLB player to join you on the Braves, who would it be? Ronald’s answer — Juan Soto.
— Ronald Acuña Jr (@ronaldacunajr24) November 5, 2023
Soto is in his final year before free agency and could be moved this offseason as the Padres trim payroll. Even with Josh Hader and Blake Snell becoming free agents, trading Soto will clear around $30 million next season. He is a Scott Boras client, so it seems unlikely that he will sign an extension with any club that trades for him without testing free agency.
This would be a dream scenario for the Braves, and a pipe dream at that. They don’t necessarily have the prospect capital to pull off the blockbuster deal, and even if they did, they probably wouldn’t give up the $400+ million contract that Soto will garner.
Acuna and Soto are good friends off the field, and it would form the best outfield in baseball with Michael Harris II roaming centerfield, but in all likelihood, Soto will test free agency next winter and sign a contract that very few can match. It’s a fun thought, though. Soto is one of the most feared hitters in baseball, getting on base over 42% of the time he steps in the box.
He’s a generational talent and would make an already loaded Braves lineup reminiscent of the 1920s Yankees dubbed Murderers’ Row, perhaps even better. Unfortunately, making that happen would take a whole lot of magic from Alex Anthopoulos.
Photographer: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire