The Washington nationals agree to trade the outfielder Juan Soto to San Diego Padres, according to Jim Bowden of CBS Sports HQ. Soto, the biggest name in the market before Tuesday’s trade deadline at 6 p.m. ET, had been made available in July after turning down a $440 million 15-year extension offer. The Padres will also acquire the first baseman from the Nationals Josh Bell in the deal, and the Nationals will receive a package titled left-handed Mackenzie Goreoutfielder Robert Hassell III and shortstop JC Abrams.
San Diego first baseman Eric Hosmer was also originally scheduled to go to DC, although he had a no-trade clause and did not agree to transfer to Washington. With Hosmer out of the equation, here’s what the deal looks like (though it could change again before it becomes official):
- LHP Mackenzie Gore
- OF Robert Hassell III
- SS CJ Abrams
- OF James Wood
- RHP Jarlin Susana
The Cardinals and Dodgers were considered the other two finalists for Soto, but were apparently outbid by San Diego.
Soto, 23, will have two more years of team control after this season. Since his major league debut in the 2018 season, he has become one of baseball’s best hitters. Entering Tuesday, he had hit .291/.427/.538 (160 OPS+) with 119 homers for his career. Soto, a two-time All-Star, was part of the Nationals’ 2019 World Series winning club.
Why are the Nationals trading Juan Soto?
For a sum as gaudy as $440 million, it’s worth noting that the Nationals’ extension offer would have resulted in an average annual value of $29.3 million. According to Cot’s Contracts, this would represent the 20th highest rating in the majors, an unseemly ranking for a player of his youth and background. Indeed, de Soto’s AAV wouldn’t have been highest on the Nationals’ active roster, with a right-hander Stephane Strasbourg averaging $35 million per season.
Soto is the latest star to leave the Nationals, and he joins an impressive roster that includes Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, Trea Turnerand Max Scherzer — of which the last two were exchanged at Los Angeles Dodgers at last year’s deadline.
Soto’s departure comes at a time of great turnover for the Nationals organization. The franchise is expected to complete a sale to a new owner this offseason, marking the end of an era. The Lerner family previously owned the team since 2006, when real estate developer Ted Lerner purchased the club from Major League Baseball for $450 million. Ted then transferred ownership to his son Mark in 2018.
The rebuilding Nats are also leaving Bell, an impending free agent. Bell seemed like one of the other best hitters out there. In 103 games with the Nationals this season, he hit .301/.384/.493 (152 OPS+) with 14 home runs and nearly as many walks as strikeouts. Bell is a big improvement over Hosmer for the Padres.
Who’s giving up on San Diego?
The Nationals’ return is a combination of big league talent and perspective. Abrams, 21, is a fast infielder who hit .232/.285/.320 (77 OPS+) with 23 more strikeouts than the steps and just seven extra hits in 139 plate appearances. the big league. His lackluster performance must be viewed with the added context that he missed most of last season and only appeared in 152 professional games in total. Namely, Abrams has already played in more major league games than he has at the Double or Triple-A level. He was ranked 10th best prospect by CBS Sports in the spring based on the belief that he will be fine in the long run.
Gore, 23, is currently on the injured list with elbow issues. He had overcome an apparent case of yips to post a 4.50 ERA (84 ERA+) and a 1.95 strikeout ratio in 70 innings this season, most of them coming as starters. Gore was once considered one of the best pitching prospects in the game, but his aforementioned struggles have diminished his stock. His elbow problem doesn’t help matters either.
Hassell, 20, was the eighth pick in the 2020 draft. He’s batted .299/.379/.467 in 75 games at the High-A level this season. He’s considered to have a good punching tool, but scouts have long wanted to see him tap into more of his raw power. It’s also unclear if he’ll be able to stay in center field for the long haul.
Wood, 19, was San Diego’s second-round pick in the 2021 draft. He’s listed at 6-foot-7 and has massive raw power and better speed than you’d expect from anyone. one of this size. He slipped in the draft due to raters’ concerns about his swing-and-miss tendencies. Encouragingly, in 50 games this season, he has been knocked out in less than 20% of his trips to the plate.
Susana, 18, is a big right-hander who has spent the season in the complex league. He appeared eight times, racking up an ERA of 2.45 and a strikeout ratio of 4.00. He has a big fastball and a promising breaking ball.