Oscar Taveras has been mentioned as a possible centerpiece in trade talks this week for top-tier starting pitchers like David Price and Jon Lester, but if Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak is to be believed that was all speculation from the outside.
This excerpt comes from Bernie Miklasz’s latest column on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch website …
Mozeliak told me he was never close to trading Taveras and was amused by the speculation that had him moving Taveras.
The Cardinals got Justin Masterson from the Indians on Wednesday afternoon for Double-A outfielder James Ramsey and might be done dealing with a little under 24 hours to go before Thursday’s deadline.
Taveras has struggled in his first taste of the majors, but the 21-year-old Dominican was a .320/.376/.516 hitter in 436 minor league games and hasn’t exactly been used properly by manager Mike Matheny.
The Nationals recalled 19-year-old outfield prospect Juan Soto from Double-A Harrisburg on Sunday, per a team announcement. Soto is poised to become the youngest player in the league once he makes his official debut with the club, and the Nationals’ first teenager to enter the majors since Bryce Harper made his first appearance back in 2012.
Entering the 2018 season, Soto was ranked no. 2 in the Nationals’ system and 15th overall. He’s certainly lived up to the hype during his first two years of pro ball, blazing through Single-A, High-A and Double-A levels in 2018 alone. While he logged just eight games at the Double-A level prior to his promotion to the majors, he proved consistent across all three levels this spring and slashed a cumulative .362/.462/.757 with 14 home runs and a 1.218 OPS in 182 plate appearances.
It’s not entirely clear how soon or in what capacity the Nationals will utilize their youngest player, but Soto’s tear through the minors is sure to pave the road for a few opportunities on the big-league level. He’ll be available off the bench for Sunday’s series finale against the Dodgers.