Top prospects Masyn Wynn (left) and third baseman Jordan Walker of the Springfield Cardinals would likely be included in any blockbuster trade the St. Louis Cardinals could be exploring. (Photo: Springfield Cardinals)

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After a four-day break, the Springfield Cardinals resume their Texas League schedule this weekend at Northwest Arkansas before returning to Hammons Field on Tuesday for a series opener against Frisco.

If we are to believe some wild trade speculation involving the St. Louis Cardinals, the Springfield team potentially could have a drastically different look soon. Or not.

Juan Soto, a 23-year-old All-Star outfielder for the Washington Nationals, is one of the brightest stars in the sport. He recently rejected a reported $440 million, 15-year contract extension and could be traded somewhere prior to the Aug. 2 deadline.

St. Louis has been mentioned as one of the possible destinations for Soto. That certainly would be a home run acquisition for the Cardinals, who need a jolt of something if they’re going to be a serious World Series contender.

But Soto would come at a high price — both on the payroll and in young talent. Lots of names have been bandied about by amateur baseball analysts, but two in particular should open the eyes of Springfield Cardinals fans.

What if top prospects Jordan Walker and/or Masyn Winn, both 20, were part of a deal for Soto?

In an unscientific Twitter poll that I posted, 57 percent of 235 voters said they would be OK with parting with the dynamic left side of the Springfield infield to plug Soto into the St. Louis outfield.

Some responded by calling Soto a “generational talent” who’s a proven All-Star with Walker and Winn “prospects” who might or might not be impact players in the big leagues.

“Prospects are cool, parades are even cooler,” was one response.

The Nationals likely would want a gold mine of talent that also would include some young Cardinals at the big-league level — not that far removed from playing at Hammons Field — such as Dylan Carlson and Nolan Gorman, plus others.

Trade talk is fun, but let’s hit the brakes. I don’t expect this to happen and it probably shouldn’t. It would be totally unlike the Cardinals and their traditional business model to make a mega deal and give any player a contract for 10 or more years at such a stratospheric salary.

This philosophy dates to 2012 and Albert Pujols’ departure, when the team opted not to mortgage their immediate economic future to keep Pujols. That decision has proven to be the right one for the long haul.

Secondly, Soto doesn’t pitch.

Rob Rains, a Springfield native who’s covered the Cardinals for four decades, joined Ned Reynolds and myself on the Sports Reporters on Jock 96.9 and 99.9 FM earlier this week and discussed the state of the Cardinals.

Rains, whose work can be found at, said the Cardinals are in good position exiting the All-Star break just a half-game behind Milwaukee in the National League Central. But their most-pressing need is not acquiring Soto — or another bat.

“Pitching,” Rains said on the key to winning the division. “I think the offense is going to be good enough. I think Gorman is going to be more consistent, (Brendan) Donovan has been terrific, (Tommy) Edman is going to get on base and score runs. (Paul) Goldschmidt should be MVP and (Nolan) Arenado has played very well.

“If Tyler O’Neill comes back, I think they’re going to be OK offensively. They just got to find a way to get starting pitchers deeper into ball games. I think they have the pieces, they just have to find a way to put them all together.”

It would be much more Cardinals-like to see a minor trade or two for starting pitching to help try and fill the void created by Jack Flaherty’s injury. The team could even kick around the idea of promoting right-hander Gordon Graceffo from Springfield for an in-house boost.

Soto to St. Louis would be fun, but so would winning Powerball and the odds of either happening are similar. Let’s calm down and stay realistic here and not take a trip to fantasyland. Soto probably isn’t coming to St. Louis, unless it’s as a member of a visiting lineup.

Keeping Walker and Winn — best friends who have high ceilings on the field and All-Star charisma to match — is more than a consolation prize. Their development is something we’ll continue to watch with interest and anticipation the rest of the season at Hammons Field.

Springfield Cardinals update

The Springfield Cardinals return to Hammons Field on Tuesday to open a six-game series against the Frisco Roughriders, following a weekend series at Northwest Arkansas. The Cardinals took a 10-8 record into this weekend, one game behind Wichita in the Texas League North Division second-half standings.

Lyndal Scranton

Lyndal Scranton is a Springfield native who has covered sports in the Ozarks for more than 35 years, witnessing nearly every big sports moment in the region during the last 50 years. The Missouri Sports Hall of Famer, Springfield Area Sports Hall of Famer and live-fire cooking enthusiast also serves as PR Director for Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri and is co-host of the Tailgate Guys BBQ Podcast. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @LyndalScranton. More by Lyndal Scranton