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Washington Nationals’ three-way trade to land Trea Turner not as lopsided as it used to be

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Trea Turner has been a catalyst for the Washington Nationals since his call up last season, but Wil Myers and Steven Souza haven’t been too bad themselves.

MLB: Washington Nationals at Colorado Rockies Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Rewind back to December 19, 2014.

The San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Rays and Washington Nationals are each at very different points in their contention windows.

San Diego is just beginning its flurry of offseason moves orchestrated by newly hired general manager A.J. Preller, in an effort to push the Padres into the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

The Rays are coming off a disappointing 77-win campaign in which they scored the fewest runs in franchise history after making the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.

The Nationals have won two NL East titles in three years but have several prominent starters approaching free agency in the near future.

These three clubs engage in a blockbuster three-way deal that sends shockwaves across the league.

The Padres acquire Wil Myers, the 2013 AL Rookie of the Year who’s struggled to stay healthy in his two seasons with the Rays but is still just 24 years old.

The Rays land Steven Souza Jr., the forgotten man in the Nats’ deep farm system who saved Jordan Zimmermann’s no-hitter with a game-ending diving catch, and Travis Ott, a teenage left-hander who’s middling in Single-A.

The Nationals “make out like bandits,” scoring an elite shortstop prospect in PTBNL Trea Turner as well as a promising right-hander, Joe Ross.

Fast forward to the present day.

Myers and Souza both struggled in their first seasons with their new teams while Turner was forced to wait until June to join Washington’s minor league system because of a rule that has since been changed as a result of the bizarre situation.

"From the outset, this was a complex deal,” Nats GM Mike Rizzo said once the trade was made official. “But we thought it was one that would better our organization for the present as well as the long term. That's always our goal. We look forward to getting Trea into our Minor League system."

Two years later, however, all three headline sluggers are off to a hot start.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at San Diego Padres Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Myers has been the lone bright spot for the lowly Padres, posting a .319/.337/.585 line with 14 RBIs and 14 runs scored after picking up the first All-Star selection of his career last year and receiving a six-year, $80 million extension over the winter.

In Tampa, Souza is blowing his career numbers out of the water with a .961 OPS — much improved over his .736 career mark.

Turner, meanwhile, is on a tear since returning from the 10-Day Disabled List and owns a .347/.360/.633 slash line in 12 games played this season.

Myers and Turner are the only two players in baseball who’ve hit for the cycle so far this year, but Souza — as he so graciously reminded me on Twitter — did come within a single of the feat on April 20.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Not to be forgotten is Ross, who’s only made two starts this season but is 13-10 with a 3.68 ERA so far in his career with the Nats.

At the time, the Nationals were applauded for the move, the Padres were ripped and people were scratching their heads at what the Rays were trying to do.

As thing have unfolded, Washington’s move has proved to be a pretty smart one — but things have worked out for San Diego and Tampa Bay as well.

Granted, the Rays might prefer to have Myers back with how poorly their offense has performed over the past few years and the presence of Turner and Ross most likely would’ve sped up the Padres’ rebuilding process.

The three sluggers that did change hands, however, have all been major contributors for their teams’ lineups thus far.

If one were to decide who “won” this trade, the Nats remain the most logical choice.

Things just don’t look as lopsided as they did a few years ago.