Blockbuster: Padres Acquire Juan Soto, Josh Bell from Nationals

Juan Soto is headed to San Diego. 

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Padres have acquired Soto, and Josh Bell from the Washington Nationals in exchange for Eric Hosmer, MacKenzie Gore, C.J. Abrams, Robert Hassell III, James Wood, and Jarlin Susana.

One of the most significant trades in MLB history, Soto will now team up with fellow superstars Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado through the 2024 campaign before reaching free agency. 

A generational talent, Soto is a lifetime .291 hitter, with 119 home runs and 358 RBI in 565 career MLB games. While he’s fallen in average this season (.246), the 23-year-old leads the league in walks (91) and has 21 home runs and 46 RBI in a lowly Nationals lineup. With better lineup protection in San Diego, Soto’s numbers will likely skyrocket. 

While Soto is the big name, the inclusion of Bell should not be overlooked. An impending free agent, the 29-year-old has been one of the best hitters in the National League, slashing .301/.384/.493 with 14 home runs and 57 RBI in 103 games this season. 

To no one’s surprise, the acquisitions of Soto and Bell have seen the Padres’ World Series odds increase from +1700 to +1100 (courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook).

As for the Nationals, they appear destined for a lengthy rebuild. While it’s never easy parting ways with a superstar, Washington appears to have received an impressive haul of young talent, excluding Hosmer, who is not guaranteed to remain with the club.

Set to be under new ownership this offseason, it is truly a new era of Washington baseball that will require plenty of patience from fans.