Padres Trade for Juan Soto, Josh Bell in Blockbuster Deal

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The San Diego Padres acquire Juan Soto and Josh Bell. According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Washington Nationals will receive MacKenzie Gore, C.J. Abrams, Robert Hassell III, James Wood, and Jarlin Susana. However, Eric Hosmer declined to go to the Nationals. Furthermore, Hosmer does have a 10-team no-trade clause as it’s his contractual right to decline a trade. Luke Voit is headed to Washington to replace Hosmer in the deal.

Soto was the main priority for the Padres to upgrade their roster even more. Before the All-Star break, rumors were swirling around Soto after he rejected a contract extension with Washington. It was also believed that the Houston Astros did inquire about Bell, but they ultimately settled for Trey Mancini in a three-team trade.

Over his first four seasons, Soto hit .301/.432/.550, finishing second in the National League Rookie of the Year race behind Ronald Acuña Jr. in 2018. Although he was 20 years old, Soto had his big moment when the Nationals reached the World Series in 2019. Then, the left-handed slugger hit three home runs in the Fall Classic. In the shortened 2020 season, Soto won the NL batting title with a .351 average as Washington went from first to worst. Soto had an excellent 2021 as the Nationals struggled mightily, kicking off a rebuild by trading Max Scherzer and Trea Turner.

Originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011, Bell became a productive hitter from 2016-2018. He was a National League Rookie of the Year Award finalist in 2017, hitting 26 home runs and 90 runs. Bell posted a combined .260/.348/.436 batting line with an impressive 110 wRC+. In 2019, Bell’s breakout campaign with 37 home runs led to his first All-Star appearance. Bell raked at a .277/.367/.569 batting line with 37 doubles and three triples. Like most of his Pirates teammates, Bell struggled in 2020. He batted .226/.305/.364 with eight home runs and 22 RBI. Eventually, the Pirates traded Bell to the Nationals for Wil Crowe and Eddy Yean. Bell and the Nationals avoided salary arbitration with a one-year, $6.35 million salary for the 2021 season. Later, he signed a $10 million contract this year before the 2022 season.

In the meantime, they receive four prospects for Washington, along with Luke Voit MacKenzie Gore from San Diego. Voit is hitting .225 with 13 home runs, 48 RBI and a .733 OPS. Gore is a young up-and-coming pitcher who was the third pick of the 2017 MLB Draft and could become the rotation’s ace. When healthy, Gore shows flashes of brilliance. C.J. Abrams is the Padres’ top prospect coming in the deal. However, he’s off to a slow start against big league pitching, hitting .232/.285/.320 in 46 games. Robert Hassell III is the No. 21 prospect per MLB.com.

Additionally, the eighth overall pick from the 2020 MLB Draft has a .846 OPS in 75 games at High-A Ft. Wayne. 19-year-old James Wood got off to a hot start in his professional debut. Wood hit .372/.465/.535 over 26 games in the Arizona Complex League. Jarlin Susa was the top-ranked pitcher in the 2021-2022 International class, signing with the Padres out of the Dominican Republic.

As a result, Bell and Soto are off the market; the Padres have one of the purest hitters available. With the addition of Josh Hader, the Padres can now contend with their division rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers

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Players Mentioned:

Juan SotoJosh Bell, Eric Hosmer, MacKenzie Gore, C.J. Abrams, Robert Hassell III, James Wood, Jarlin Susana, Ronald Acuña Jr., Max ScherzerTrea Turner, Wil CroweEddy Yean, Josh Hader