Juan Soto trade: Padres agree deal for Nationals superstar before deadline, per report

The Washington Nationals have agreed to trade outfielder Juan Soto for the San Diego Padres. according to MLB network. Soto, the biggest name in the market ahead of Tuesday’s 6 p.m. trading deadline, was made available earlier in July after turning down a 15-year extension offer worth $440 million. The Padres will also acquire Nationals first baseman Josh Bell, according to reports, and the Nationals will receive a package headed left by Mackenzie Gore and shortstop CJ Abrams.

First baseman Eric Hosmer is also scheduled to go to DC, although he must agree to be included as the Nationals are one of the teams he can block deals using his no-trade clause. Here’s the full deal, per ESPN:

Acquire Padres

acquire subjects

  • LHP Mackenzie Gore
  • FROM Robert Hassell III
  • SS CJ Abrams
  • FROM James Wood
  • RHP Jarlin Susana
  • 1B Eric Hosmer (pending non-trade clause)

The Cardinals and Dodgers were considered the other two finalists for Soto, but were apparently outbid by San Diego.

The 23-year-old Soto will be in control of the team for two more years after this season. Since making his big league debut during the 2018 season, he has emerged as one of the best hitters in baseball. He came in on Tuesday, hitting .291/.427.538 (160 OPS+) with 119 career homeruns. A two-time All-Star, Soto was part of the Nationals’ 2019 World Series-winning club.

For a flashy sum of $440 million, it seems worth noting that the Nationals’ renewal offer would have resulted in an average annual value of $29.3 million. According to Cot’s Contracts, that would be the 20th highest score in the majors, a ranking not befitting a player of his youth and track record. Indeed, Soto’s AAV would not have been the highest on the Nationals’ active roster, with right-handed Stephen Strasburg making an average of $35 million per season.

Soto could probably be the last star to leave the Nationals, and he would join an impressive roster that included Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, Trea Turner and Max Scherzer — the latter two of whom were eventually traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers term of the year.

Soto’s departure comes at a time of significant turnover for the Nationals organization. The franchise is expected to complete a sale to new owners this off-season, marking the end of an era. The Lerner family previously owned the team since 2006, when real estate developer Ted Lerner bought the club from Major League Baseball for $450 million. Ted later transferred ownership to his son Mark in 2018.

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