August 2, 2022: Padres sent C.J. Abrams, MacKenzie Gore, Luke Voit, Robert Hassell, James Wood and Jarlin Susano to the Washington Nationals for Juan Soto and Josh Bell
Juan Soto is one of the bright young stars in baseball today. He turned down a long-term extension with the Washington Nationals and immediately went on the trade block. The Padres acquired him for the organization’s top minor league prospects at the trade deadline last summer. The move helped the Friars seal their second postseason appearance in three seasons.
Determining who won this trade can not be made until after the 2024 season. At that time, Soto will be eligible to leave San Diego as a free agent. But if the Padres do not contend for a World Series, this trade would be considered a disaster for the franchise. The true greatness of Soto is his understanding of the strike zone. He rarely swings at pitches off the plate. As for his defense, Soto can look lost on tracking balls to the warning track. But at 24 years old, there is time for him to become an elite defender.
The Nats gained a starting pitcher (MacKenzie Gore) and an everyday shortstop (CJ Abrams) from their return. They expect more to come from this package in the coming seasons.