San Diego Padres acquire Juan Soto from Washington Nationals in blockbuster trade

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The San Diego Padres have won the Juan Soto sweepstakes, agreeing to a deal to acquire the superstar outfielder, as well as first baseman Josh Bell, from the Washington Nationals in a blockbuster trade on Tuesday.

The Nationals have acquired left-handed pitcher MacKenzie Gore, first baseman Luke Voit, and shortstop C.J. Abrams, as well as three prospects.

First baseman Eric Hosmer was initially expected to be included in the deal, but exercised his no-trade clause, which included Washington, and is now expected to head to the Boston Red Sox.

Soto goes from the team with the worst record in the National League to one in possession of the league's second wild-card spot.

A two-time All-Star and World Series champion, the 23-year-old Soto is considered one of the best young players in baseball with 119 career home runs, 108 doubles, 358 RBIs, 399 runs and 464 walks in his first 565 games.

In the live-ball era, the only other players with 100+ homers, 100+ doubles, 350+ RBIs, 350+ runs and 450+ walks in the first 565 games are Hall of Famers Frank Thomas and Ted Williams. As a 21-year-old in 2020, Soto became the youngest player in NL history to win a batting title with a .351 average.

The trade comes just over two weeks after Soto turned down a 15-year, $440million extension from the Nationals, prompting Washington to seek a trade even though Soto remained under team control for two more seasons after this one.

Days after Soto rejected the extension, he went on to win the Home Run Derby at Dodger Stadium over the All-Star break.

Soto homered in his final at-bat with the Nationals on Monday – his 21st of the season – and has been swinging a hot bat lately, compiling a .324/.515/.662 slash line with seven homers, 14 RBIs, 19 runs and 28 walks in 25 games since the start of July. In that span, his 1.177 OPS ranks third in baseball, among qualifying hitters.

Soto and Bell, who is batting .301 with 14 home runs and 57 RBIs in 103 games, now join a San Diego lineup that is led by six-time All-Star Manny Machado. The team is also hopeful of getting Fernando Tatis Jr. back in the coming weeks as it tries to make a run for the franchise's first World Series title.

Soto was instrumental to the Nationals' 2019 World Series championship, batting .333 with three home runs, two doubles, seven RBIs and six runs against the Houston Astros in the Fall Classic.

As part of the trade, Washington receives outfielder Robert Hassell III – the No. 1 prospect in the Padres' system – outfielder James Wood (No. 3) and right-handed pitcher Jarlin Susana (No. 14), in addition to Gore, Voit and Abrams.

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