Juan Soto commerce: Padres comply with deal celebrity earlier than deadline, Nationals get again 5 prospects

The IS Washington Nationals They have agreed to trade outfielder Juan Soto to the San Diego Padres, per Jim Bowden of CBS Sports HQ. Soto, the biggest name on the market before Tuesday’s 6 pm ET trade deadline, was made available in July after turning down a 15-year, $440 million extension offer. The Padres will also get Nationals first baseman Josh Bell in the deal, and the Nationals will get a package headlined by lefty Mackenzie Gore, outfielder Robert Hassell III and shortstop CJ Abrams.

San Diego first baseman Eric Hosmer was originally supposed to go to DC as well, although he has a no-trade clause and did not agree to be moved to Washington. With Hosmer out of the equation, here’s what the deal looks like (though it could change again before it becomes official):

Padres get

Nationals get

  • LHP Mackenzie Gore
  • From Robert Hassell III
  • SS CJ Abrams
  • From James Wood
  • RHP Jarlin Susana

The IS Cardinal and the Dodgers were seen as the other two contenders for Soto, but San Diego appears to have been left out of the bidding.

Soto, 23, will have two more years of team control left after this season. Since making his major league debut during the 2018 season, he has emerged as one of the best hitters in baseball. Entering Tuesday, he was hitting .291/.427/.538 (160 OPS+) with 119 career home runs. Soto, a two-time All-Star, was part of the club that won the 2019 United Nations World Series.

Why are the Nationals trading Juan Soto?

As a sum as high as $440 million appears, it is worth noting that the Nationals’ extension offer would result in an average annual value of $29.3 million. According to Cot’s Contracts, that is the 20th-highest mark in the majors, an unattainable ranking for a player of his youth and track record. In fact, Soto’s AAV wouldn’t be the highest on the Nationals’ active roster, with right-hander Stephen Strasburg getting $35 million per season.

Soto is the latest star to leave the Nationals, joining an impressive list that includes Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, Trea Turner, and Max Scherzer — the latter two of whom were traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers at last year’s deadline.

Soto’s departure comes at a time of major change in the Nationals organization. The franchise is expected to complete a sale to new ownership this offseason, ending an era. The team was previously owned by the Lerner family since 2006, when real estate developer Ted Lerner purchased the club from Major League Baseball for $450 million. Ted later transferred ownership to his son Mark in 2018.

The Nats are also rebuilding by moving on from Bell, an impending free agent. Bell appeared to be one of the other top hitters available on the market. 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 represents a clear upgrade over Hosmer for the Padres.

Who is San Diego giving up?

The Nationals are a mix of Major League talent and prospects. Abrams, 21, is a fast-medium hitter who hit .232/.285/.320 (77 OPS+) with 23 more strikeouts than walks and just seven extra-base hits in 139 major league plate appearances. His lackluster performance should be viewed with the added context of missing most of last season, appearing in just 152 professional games in total. However, Abrams has already played in more major league games than he has at the Double or Triple-A level. He was ranked as the 10th best prospect by CBS Sports entering the spring based on the belief that it will be fine in the long term.

Gore, 23, is currently on the injured list with an elbow problem. He would overcome an apparent case of the yips to post a 4.50 ERA (84 ERA+) and a 1.95 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 70 innings this season, with most of those coming as a starter. Gore was considered one of the better pitching prospects in the game, but his aforementioned struggles lowered his stock. The angle issue doesn’t help matters, either.

Hassell, 20, was the eighth pick in the 2020 draft. He is hitting .299/.379/.467 in 75 games at the High-A level this season. He’s considered a good hitter, but scouts have long wanted to see him get more out of his raw power. It is also unclear whether he will be able to stay in the middle of the field for the long journey.

Wood, 19, was San Diego’s second-round pick in the 2021 draft. He’s listed at 6-foot-7 and has tremendous raw power and better speed than you’d expect from someone his size. He slipped in the draft because of evaluators’ concerns about his tendency to swing and miss. Encouragingly, in 50 games this season, he has hit less than 20 percent of his trips to the plate.

Susana, 18, is a big hitter who has spent the season in the complex league. He made eight appearances, compiling a 2.45 ERA and a 4.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He has a big fastball and a promising breaking ball.

Leave a Comment