In what could find yourself as one among the largest trades in baseball history, outfielder Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals was expected to move to the San Diego Padres in a blockbuster deal that was tentatively agreed to by each teams ahead of the 6 p.m. trade deadline on Tuesday.
The deal, in accordance with individuals with direct knowledge of it who aren’t authorized to talk publicly, was pending a number of aspects, even after Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer, who had limited no-trade protection, selected to not be a component of the deal. Hosmer was subsequently traded to the Boston Red Sox, in accordance with one other person acquainted with the small print of the transactions.
Soto, 23, had been the topic of intense trade speculation for a lot of weeks. It’s rare that a slugger that talented and that young is shipped away. Probably the most similar move lately was when the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Mookie Betts from the Boston Red Sox, but even in that case, Betts was 27 — 4 years older than Soto.
But after the rebuilding Nationals did not sign Soto to a long-term contract extension — he turned down the newest effort, a 15-year, $440 million deal that might have been the biggest contract in baseball history — the team began entertaining offers for him. Soto is slated to achieve free agency in 2025, so a contending team would have him under its control for the following three pennant races even without an extension.
The Padres, with a deep farm system, agreed to fork over several of their best young players and prospects in exchange for Soto and first baseman Josh Bell, a free agent at the top of this season. Within the initial deal, in accordance with the individuals with knowledge of the small print, the Padres would send the Nationals shortstop C.J. Abrams, the right-handed pitcher Jarlin Susana, the left-handed pitcher MacKenzie Gore, Hosmer and outfielders Robert Hassell III and James Wood.
How that changes with Hosmer out of the deal just isn’t yet known.
Abrams, who made his major league debut in April, and Gore, who recently landed on the main league injured list with an elbow injury, were each once the Padres’ top overall prospect. Hassell currently holds that title, in accordance with M.L.B.’s prospect rankings, while Wood, a 6-foot-7 center fielder, ranks third. All are 23 or younger.
Soto’s expected addition to the Padres would vault them into World Series contention. Trailing the Dodgers by 12 games within the N.L. West race through Monday, San Diego is in a main spot to nab one among the league’s three wild-card spots. Soto would join a dangerous lineup that features the All-Star third baseman Manny Machado, shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. (who is anticipated to return from a wrist injury soon), the All-Star second baseman Jake Cronenworth and Bell, who was hitting .301 before the trade.
Soto, a two-time All-Star outfielder, hit .246 with 21 home runs and an .894 on-base plus slugging percentage in 101 games for the Nationals in 2022. He won the World Series in 2019, a batting title in 2020 and the Home Run Derby last month. Since his rookie season, in 2018, only nine players have gathered more wins above alternative, in accordance with FanGraphs.
Hosmer, 32, signed an eight-year, $144 million cope with the Padres before the 2018 season, an indication the rebuilding franchise desired to begin contending. Compared along with his time at Kansas City, where he won the 2015 World Series, Hosmer has largely underperformed in San Diego, particularly in power hitting, and the Padres had tried to trade him before. But he was seen as a team leader and was hitting .272 in 90 games for the Padres this season. After this yr, he will likely be owed $39 million over the ultimate three years of his contract.
It has not yet been reported how much money the Padres will send to the Red Sox to offset Hosmer’s salary.