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Juan Soto Traded to Padres for Massive Prospect Haul

  • Soto's trade was imminent after he turned down a $440M contract from Washington in June.
  • LHP MacKenzie Gore, OF Robert Hassell III, and OF James Wood highlight the players coming back.
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After turning down what would have been the largest contract in MLB history, Juan Soto was destined to be traded from the Nationals, and likely before Tuesday’s trade deadline.

The deal is reportedly done — and the return is one of the largest prospect hauls in baseball history.

Per multiple reports, Soto and Josh Bell were traded to the Padres for LHP MacKenzie Gore, OF Robert Hassell III, SS C.J. Abrams, OF James Wood, RHP Jarlin Susana, and 1B Luke Voit.

Originally, the final player in the deal was supposed to be 1B Eric Hosmer — but Washington was on Hosmer’s 10-team no-trade list, and he would not waive the clause to make the trade happen.

Ultimately, Hosmer — who shares agent Scott Boras with Soto and Bell — was dealt to the Red Sox. The return on the trade is unclear, but the Padres will likely retain at least some of the approximately $44 million in salary they owe him over the next 3+ years.

With the main event trade completed, Boras’ next task will be to lock up a huge extension for Soto — possibly the first ever $500 million contract.

That could end up being a tall task for San Diego, who has four $100 million+ contracts on the books, excluding Hosmer.

  • SS Fernando Tatis Jr.: 14-year, $340M contract signed in 2021
  • 3B Manny Machado: 10-year, $300M contract signed in 2019
  • RHP Yu Darvish: six-year, $126M contract signed in 2018 (with the Cubs)
  • RHP Joe Musgrove: five-year, $100M contract signed on Monday

But if the Pads can’t agree to a contract with Soto, they can effectively use him as a two-and-a-half-season rental as he likely sets arbitration records for the next two seasons.

After acquiring LHP Josh Hader — who also has one year of arbitration remaining after this season — in a trade Monday, the Padres are making it very clear that they want this iteration of the team to win a World Series in the next few seasons.

Easier said than done: San Diego currently trails the Dodgers by 12 games in the NL West and has won just one postseason series since 1999. That was a Wild Card Series in 2020 — the same season L.A. swept the Friars in the Division Series on the way to a championship.

The Padres currently have the sixth-best odds (+1100) to win this season’s World Series.

As for the Nats, they’ll have a treasure trove of young talent to work with as they rebuild.

Gore, Abrams, and Hassell were the third, sixth, and eighth overall picks, respectively, in their drafts, with Wood coming in at 62nd overall in his. The former two made their MLB debuts this season, while the latter two were considered two of the top three prospects in the Padres’ system.

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