According to Jon Morosi of MLB.com, Soto is heading to the San Diego Padres along with Josh Bell. ESPN’s Jeff Passan confirmed the report shortly after. So, yes, this is happening pending official word.
Passan reported that the return for the Nationals included left-handed starter MacKenzie Gore, outfield prospect Robert Hassell III, shortstop C.J. Abrams, outfield prospect James Wood, right-handed pitcher Jarlin Susana, plus one more major leaguer.
After there were reports that first baseman Eric Hosmer would be part of the deal, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com has since reported that Hosmer rejected a trade to the nation’s capital.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal though says that Hosmer’s inclusion won’t affect whether Soto is traded to the Padres, implying that the teams have contingencies in place.
The trade comes on the heels of Soto rejecting a record-breaking 15-year, $440 million contract from the Nationals. While the total money would have been the most in Major League Baseball history, the annual average value of less than $30 million would’ve ranked just 20th all-time, and was one of the major reasons Soto’s camp rejected the offer.
Earlier this week, Nationals General Manager, Mike Rizzo spoke with 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies about the team’s thought process listening to offers for the young superstar.
“When we offered Juan this contract,” Rizzo told The Sports Junkies, “with his agent’s knowledge, we told him when the deal was turned down, we said, ‘We’re going to have to explore all our options.’
“And that’s all we’ve ever said. I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t explore all the options that now present us.”
Rizzo also confirmed that the team was engaged in trade talks with teams over Soto.
“We’re in conversations with Juan Soto, with several teams that I think have real interest in him,” Rizzo said.
“I’m not going to handicap if we’re going to trade him or not. I will say this, we’re going to have to get the deal that we want that makes the most sense, that gets us an opportunity to become a championship organization faster than not trading him, so that’s it in a nutshell.”
Well, as we now know, those talks have led to a deal that will see Soto ply his trade for the Padres.
He’s not the only National heading to San Diego though, Bell is heading along with him to help bolster the Padres’ lineup.
The first baseman quickly became a fan favorite after joining the Nationals in a trade from the Pittsburgh Pirates last offseason, and after a slow start to the 2021 season, has been a force in the team’s lineup.
Fans were also hoping for an extension tofor Bell this offseason, but as a pending free agent this offseason, his trade always seemed likely at this deadline with the Nats trying to recoup as much value as possible.
A Juan Soto trade seemed unfathomable just a few weeks ago, but it accelerated to a trade that the Nationals will hope speeds up their rebuild drastically — and yes, it’s now a rebuild, not a retool as Rizzo has tried to paint it as ever since last season’s trade deadline.
More info when it is available…
Eric Hosmer rejected trade, which he could since Nationals were on his no-trade list, but the latest reports have Washington getting Luke Voit thrown in instead:
Luke Voit is headed to Washington to finalize the Juan Soto deal, source tells ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 2, 2022
We've acquired top prospects SS C.J. Abrams, LHP MacKenzie Gore, OF Robert Hassell III, OF James Wood and RHP Jarlin Susana as well as Major League 1B/DH Luke Voit from the San Diego Padres in exchange for OF Juan Soto and 1B Josh Bell.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 2, 2022
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