Trading Harper for Juan Soto is ridiculous at best

The Philadelphia Phillies enjoy the All-Star break as they sit six games above .500, clinging to the tiniest of leads for the third and final Wild Card spot. Over the course of the 162-game grind, and especially as the season finds a lull until their next game on Friday, there are bound to be some goofy stories that find their way to the forefront of the news. One such story aired yesterday as a local radio host made a point that was beyond daring.

Joe Giglio of 94.1 Sports Radio WIP argued yesterday that the Philadelphia Phillies should offer reigning Washington Nationals MVP Bryce Harper in exchange for their disgruntled star Juan Soto. Desiring Soto is certainly interesting, however, as Giglio makes it clear, the Phillies don’t have the prospects to compete with teams like the Dodgers or Yankees.

Would the Phillies be interested in Soto? Would Washington want a reunion with its former superstar? Would Soto make Philadelphia better? As crazy as it sounds, a clear argument can be made for the Phillies to avoid this type of deal.

The very concept of the Philadelphia Phillies trading Bryce Harper for Juan Soto is ludicrous at best for many reasons.

There are several reasons why this deal doesn’t make sense for Philadelphia. One of the biggest is how important Bryce Harper has been to the Phillies since joining in March 2019. He’s been a leader, an icon, and most importantly, one of the best players in the entire Major League. Baseball.

Harper was the MVP last season. And thanks to MLB contract inflation, it’s now one of the best deals in baseball. While his contract was the biggest in North American sports history at the time he signed it, and it’s still the fifth, when you break it down by average annual value, it’s not even in the top 20. Without a doubt, his contract is a steal for the Phillies.

Giglio also states that the Phillies should give up more for Soto than for Harper, which makes sense considering the former is six years younger than the latter, but again, is it worth it for the Phillies? Considering Juan Soto is an absolute leak risk (after his next two arbitration-eligible seasons) and has already turned down the biggest contract in North American sports history, the answer is probably no.

On top of all that, Bryce Harper has a no-trade clause. The chances of him agreeing to a deal with a rebuilding team, especially one that didn’t want to pay him, are more than unlikely. Even if the Phillies wanted to move Harper for Soto, unless he approved the move, the odds of which are pretty much nil, there’s no way that would happen.

Is Juan Soto a better player than Bryce Harper pic for pic? Maybe. Should the Phillies at least make a call about Juan Soto? Absolutely. Trading Harper for Soto, however, is a clear and obvious mistake, one that’s not even on the table. The Philadelphia Phillies would be much better off chasing talents like Ian Happ or Andrew Benintendi at the deadline. Then in the offseason, pursue a star like Trea Turner, Carlos Correa or Xander Bogaerts in free agency.

Garland K. Long