Washington Nationals Agree to Trade Juan Soto in Landmark Deal

Juan Soto will play for a new team for the rest of the 2022 season and beyond. According to multiple reports, the Washington Nationals have agreed to trade Soto to the San Diego Padres. MLB.com says that the Padres will also acquire Josh Bell, and the Nationals will receive C.J. Abrams, Robert Hassell III, James Wood, Jarlin Susana, Eric Hosmer, and MacKenzie Gore. This move comes hours before the trade deadline. One important note on the deal is Hosmer has to agree to waive his no-trade stipulation to the Nationals, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic

The Nationals were looking to trade Soto after the two sides couldn't agree on a contract extension. Soto turned down a 15-year $440 million offer in July and will be a free agent after the 2024 season. He will now join a Padres squad that includes superstar players Fernando Tatís Jr., Manny Machado and Josh Hader, who was traded to the team on Monday

Soto, 23, made his MLB debut in 2018 and has become one of the best young players in baseball. In his career, Soto has been named to the All-Star team for the last two years, selected to the All-MLB First Team twice, the All-MLB Second Team, won this year's Home Run Derby and helped the Nationals win the World Series in 2019. 2022 has been a strong season for Soto, batting .246 with 21 home runs, 46 RBIs, and an OPS of .894. 

Last week, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo appeared on Audacy's 106.7 The Fan in Washington D.C. and talked about the contract offered to Soto. "This was the ultimate respectful interaction with Juan. We've made him several offers," he said. "We've made sure that he knows that we want him here for the rest of his career. This is business. It's not personal. This is business. He has the right to go to free agency, to turn down deals and that type of thing." 

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"I respect that as a player that he has earned that right. But my relationship with the players is nothing if it's not we're man to man and we discuss things face to face. And when we offered Juan this contract with his agent's knowledge, we told him when the deal was turned down, we said, 'We're going to have to explore all our options.' And that's all we've ever said."