What would it take to acquire Soto?
So, what would a Juan Soto to Atlanta trade look like? It would likely take five of those six prospects mentioned.
If you trust Baseball Trade Values (which you shouldn't always), a Juan Soto trade for Ignacio Alvarez, Dylan Dodd, Vaughn Grissom, Jared Shuster, and AJ Smith Shawver is an even-value trade.
Of course, the 2023 Trade Deadline isn't going to have many even-value trades. The Braves don't have another high-value prospect to add to a Juan Soto trade if it's just Soto. They do have a high enough value player, however, if the Padres add Blake Snell.
Blake Snell is having his best season in years. He's also a free agent at the end of the season. Snell and 2.61 ERA (3.59 FIP), would fit perfectly in a rotation that includes Spencer Strider, Max Fried, and Charlie Morton, creating four starters who opposing offenses will have difficulty beating in the postseason.
One name I omitted from this rotation is Bryce Elder. Because to get Snell and Soto, the Braves would have to part ways with a 2023 All-Star who will have five more years of control after this year.
Would Bryce Elder be a massive overpay in a trade for a rental and an outfielder with 1.5 years of control left, especially if other prospects are included? Absolutely. But should the Braves do it?
Should the Braves acquire Juan Soto (and Blake Snell)?
The 2023 Atlanta Braves are shaping up to be one of the best Braves teams in franchise history. But, at the deadline, there are two potential weaknesses: LF and starting pitching depth.
By acquiring Soto and Snell, the Braves improve LF and the starting pitching staff (though not necessarily the depth).
Including Bryce Elder would allow the Braves to hold on to AJ Smith-Shawver or Vaughn Grissom (but likely not both), and likely allow the Braves to include Eddie Rosario or Marcell Ozuna.
Trading Elder now, however, especially with the season he's had and the years of control he has after this season, might be shortsighted. Not only would Atlanta be clearing out what's left of an underwhelming farm system, but they'd also be trading a pitcher who is already producing at the major league level.
However, going all in on Soto and Snell would make an immediate impact and increase the already high odds of a championship. If the Braves want to create a superteam (or even a super superteam) for the rest of 2023, they should trade for Soto and Snell. If they want to maintain depth for the future, they should avoid this trade with San Diego.