Okay, I've given in, let's trade for Soto. In fact, let's just go hog wild and win the damn thing this year. To wit:
Soto and Qorbin from WAS for Peterson, Alvarez, Baty, and Ramirez - I still think that could get done with just the prospects, considering Qorbin's money and the paucity of suitors, but maybe you have to toss in Peterson or Allan to get over the finish line. If so, then do it. Soto instantly pushes himself or another OF into the black hole that is the DH spot, and lengthens the lineup considerably.
Qorbin to literally anyone for literally anything - I do not want him on my team, so eat whatever money you need to and get him gone. Someone out there needs to fill innings, so let's say he goes (with us paying his entire salary, and maybe with Joel Diaz to make it more palatable) to Cincinnati for Diaz the Younger. Alexis Diaz can be the eighth man in the BP, but he has options, too, so he can cool it in AAA if we have no room in Queens and we can hold him ransom there until his brother promises to re-sign here this winter. It better be done in 24 hours or less, too, because I sincerely do not want Qorbin to possess a WS ring with our logo on it.
Contreras and Robertson from CHC for Mauricio and Carlos Cortes - Mauricio is still a top-100 (almost top-50) prospect, and we might as well get what we can for him while we can. He's not playing short here, after all, but he still has promise. Contreras lengthens the lineup further, and we get two months to convince him to sign long-term, which replaces Alvarez until Parada (hopefully) filters up (maybe send McCann and cash back to Chicago to clear Contreras's roster spot and keep them from having a ton of passed balls, otherwise send them Mazieka or Nido, then McCann and the one who stays can fight it out to back Contreras up come ST, loser gets DFAd or traded in late March). Robertson takes the 8th inning, pushing one of our lesser arms to the curb (or to some other team who thinks they can use him, as we'll need to keep making trades to replace the talent drain here). Cortes is just there to help the Cubs feel that they won the trade.
JD Martinez from BOS for Dom and Jaylen Palmer - We're not screwing around here, we're making sure we win this thing. JDM is on an expiring contract, the Sox have no one playing 1B even adequately, and this allows a rotation of excellent bats through the DH while giving Canha, McNeil, and anyone else the rest they'll require for a deep October run. Palmer sweetens the pot for Boston, and maybe they throw a flier in to seal the deal.
McCann/Nido/Mazieka (depending on who's healthy and who stays and goes)
(In this scenario, JDD is back in AAA learning how to hit again)
Jake (please, God, let us have this)
(In this scenario, Drew Smith is back in AAA learning how to pitch again, with Holderman maybe teaching him?)
This right here is a barren farm system, with our top four prospects sacrificed on the altar of WS glory, but it's also a team that has absolutely no holes. If McCann stays on the IL until September, then he can come back as a third catcher, giving Contreras time to rest up for the playoff push. You can bring back Holderman or Smith (or Nogosek or...) at that point, too. As is, though, it's a team that doesn't lose much, especially if Jake stays healthy. If not, one of those AAA guys takes Williams's spot, and the rotation gets a bit weaker, but Williams isn't starting any playoff games, so that matter very little in the grand scheme of things.
Now, next year may suck, since lots of these guys will be on expiring contracts and it'll be difficult-to-impossible to get the band back together. that said, Vientos can come up and be the short side of a DH platoon, an you'll still have a full outfield of Soto-Marte-Canha signed for next year. Lee and/or Plummer will have to be the 4th/5th OF on the roster, no way around it. You re-sign Contreras for whatever it takes and find a cheapish, righty-mashing statue to be the long side of that DH platoon (Joc Pederson comes to mind). Guillorme and EE continue to platoon at 3B, and you hope JDD remembers how to hit over the next eight months. Maybe Jake stays, maybe he goes, but there are tons of very good starters on the market this winter, so you QO anyone who won't sign on for another go-round and see what you can get in free agency. Same goes for the BP, except that you have a reasonable number of young guys who've been shuttling back and forth to AAA to accommodate all the guys in the BP without options - if a bunch of them leave, you elevate the Smith/Holderman/Nogosek/Orze/Otanez/Szap/Montes de Oca crowd and that's literally seven names there that, added to the few holdovers, can populate a BP (especially if we re-sign Diaz, which we absolutely must).
May there be depth issues? Yes, but that fancy analytics squad the FO hired is going to find cheap filler on the waiver wire and in FA to fill AAA with the kind of guys who can step in and contribute if called upon. That'll just have to be the thing to do until some guys from the past two drafts filter up and fill out the upper levels of the system. Either way, we'll have replica WS rings to keep us warm on those cold, prospectless nights. We'll survive.