Deadline-day blockbuster: Padres acquire superstar Soto, Josh Bell in 8-player deal
Luke Voit, 5 prospects headed to Nationals; Twins obtain Tyler Mahle, Jorge Lopez
The San Diego Padres acquired superstar outfielder Juan Soto from the Washington Nationals on Tuesday in one of baseball's biggest deals at the trade deadline, vaulting their post-season chances by adding one of the game's best young hitters.
The Padres also obtained first baseman Josh Bell while sending a haul of players to Washington that included rookie left-hander MacKenzie Gore, first baseman/DH Luke Voit and prospects James Wood, C.J. Abrams, Robert Hassell III and Jarlin Susana.
Voit was a late addition to the deal after San Diego first baseman Eric Hosmer declined to waive a no-trade provision, according to a person with direct knowledge of the move who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because negotiations were ongoing at the time.
Soto is a generational talent who turns 24 in late October, when the Padres hope hope to still be playing for a title.
After contributing to the Nationals' first championship in franchise history in 2019, Soto hit .351 in 2020 to win the National League batting title. He has been walked more than any other player in major league baseball over the past two seasons.
"The atmosphere here is they want to win, and not just go to the playoffs but win a World Series," said all-star closer Josh Hader, who was obtained by San Diego on Monday in another big deal with Milwaukee. "That's a contagious atmosphere to be a part of."
San Diego began the season with a luxury tax payroll of $229.3 million US, just below the first threshold, and the trades push the Padres into tax territory for the second straight season. Soto is owed $5,978,022 for the rest of this season and Bell $3,516,844.
The package of prospects going to Washington is one of the most touted groups ever involved in one deal. Gore and Abrams debuted in San Diego this season after ranking among the sport's elite minor leaguers, Hassell and Wood are both Top 100 prospects according to MLB.com, and Susana was considered the best pitcher available in the 2021-22 international free agent class.
Washington general manager Mike Rizzo set a lofty asking price last month after reports emerged that Soto turned down the team's latest contract offer of $440 million over 15 years.
Soto remains under team control for two more seasons after this one, which made it no sure thing the Nationals would trade him now. The Padres getting him for potentially three playoff runs even absent a new deal made this the peak of Soto's value.
That uncertainty began weighing on Soto, who said after Sunday's game against St. Louis: "I just want to get it over with and see what's going to happen. Start over here or wherever I'm at."
He gets to start over in San Diego in the midst of his second all-star season, part of a loaded lineup that also includes all-star Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. when the shortstop returns from a broken left wrist.
"It's pretty impressive to have those three types of guys on one team in the same lineup," said Wil Myers, the Padres' longest-tenured player. "Excited to see that trio, hopefully in the next week or two."
Tatis could be 10 days to two weeks away from being added to the active roster.
Career .291 hitter
With little protection around him in Washington's lineup, Soto hit .246 with 20 home runs and 45 RBI and 91 walks in 101 games.
In 2,435 plate appearances since making his Nationals debut in 2018, Soto is batting .291 with 118 home runs and 357 RBI. He's only a couple of years removed from slugging .695 with a 1.185 on-base-plus slugging percentage and .490 on-base percentage — all NL bests.
Soto becomes the latest Nationals player to be traded as part of the organization's long-term rebuild and with ownership looking to sell the team. Rizzo traded shortstop Trea Turner, ace Max Scherzer, power hitter Kyle Schwarber and five others at the deadline last year, and Washington has let Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon and others move on in free agency.
The quintet of young players coming from San Diego could join the ones acquired last year, including pitcher Josiah Gray and catcher Keibert Ruiz, as the core of Washington's next contender.
Gore, a 23-year-old left-handed pitcher, had a 1.50 ERA through his first nine starts this year but is now on the injured list with elbow inflammation. Abrams struggled as a fill-in for injured Tatis at shortstop to begin the season, but he's only 21 and has hit .314 at triple-A.
The 20-year-old Hassell, the No. 8 overall pick in the 2020 amateur draft, hit an RBI single in last month's All-Star Futures Game. Wood, a 19-year-old outfielder and second-round selection in last year's draft, is batting .321 with 10 homers and 45 RBI for Class-A Lake Elsinore. Susana, an 18-year-old right-hander, has a 2.45 ERA with 44 strikeouts in 29 1/3 innings with San Diego's complex league team.
"It is the biggest haul in sports since the Herschel Walker trade."<a href="https://twitter.com/JimBowdenGM?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JimBowdenGM</a> breaks down the absolute HAUL the Nationals netted after dealing Juan Soto to the Padres. <a href="https://t.co/DyvfLwRiBL">pic.twitter.com/DyvfLwRiBL</a>—@CBSSportsHQ
Twins land pitcher Mahle, closer Lopez
The first-place Minnesota Twins moved to bolster their starting rotation, acquiring right-hander Tyler Mahle from the Cincinnati Reds.
The Reds will receive a package of prospects in return that includes infielders Spencer Steer and Christian Encarnacion-Strand, as well as left-hander Steven Hajjar.
Mahle, 27, is 5-7 with a 4.40 earned-run average in 19 starts this season and has 114 strikeouts in 104 1/3 innings. A former seventh-round pick by the Reds in 2013, Mahle is 31-38 in 114 appearances (113 starts) with the Reds over six seasons.
Encarnacion-Strand, 22, was drafted in the fourth round by the Twins in 2021 and has seen time at double-A this season. Steer, a third-round pick in 2019, has played in 48 games at triple-A. Hajjar, a second-round draft pick in 2021, is at the Class-A level.
Earlier Tuesday, the Twins acquired closer Jorge Lopez in a deal with the Baltimore Orioles for four pitching prospects.
The 29-year-old Lopez is in the middle of a breakout season, with a sparkling 1.68 ERA and 19 of his 20 career saves. He joins a Twins team that had a 3.84 relief ERA entering the game against Detroit on Tuesday night, with Jhoan Duran the lone late-inning option who has been consistently reliable this year.
The surprising Orioles are in the mix for an American League wild card. But they traded slugger Trey Mancini to Houston as part of a three-team deal on Monday before shipping Lopez to the AL Central leaders.
Baltimore received minor league pitchers Cade Povich, Yennier Cano, Juan Nunez and Juan Rojas in the deal with Minnesota.
The 22-year-old Povich, a third-round pick in last year's draft, is 6-8 with a 4.46 ERA in 16 starts at High-A Cedar Rapids this season. Cano, a 28-year-old right-hander, made his big league debut in May and was sent back to triple-A St. Paul on Monday.
The Twins entered play Tuesday atop the American League Central but were just one game ahead of the Cleveland Guardians and three ahead of the talent-laden Chicago White Sox.
In other deals:
- The Philadelphia Phillies acquired veteran reliever David Robertson in a trade with the Chicago Cubs. The Phillies sent minor league right-hander Ben Brown to the Cubs for the 37-year-old Robertson, one of the top relievers on the market ahead of the trade deadline. Robertson is 3-0 with a 2.23 ERA and 14 saves in 36 appearances this year.
- The Phillies also landed Brandon Marsh and Noah Syndergaard from the Los Angeles Angels. Philadelphia acquired Marsh for catching prospect Logan O'Hoppe, then separately added Syndergaard for outfielders Mickey Moniak and Jadiel Sanchez. Marsh is a lefty-hitting, righty-throwing 24-year-old with speed and power projection. He ranked among Los Angeles' top prospects before debuting in the majors last season, but he has struggled in the big leagues. Syndergaard, the former Mets star, is 5-8 with a 3.83 ERA in his first full season since 2019 due to Tommy John surgery.
The Cardinals and Yankees swapped big leaguers, with Gold Glove-winning center fielder Harrison Bader going to New York in exchange for left-handed starter Jordan Montgomery. A speedy 28-year-old from Bronxville, New York, Bader has not played since June 26 because of plantar fasciitis in his right foot. When he returns, he likely would play share centre field with newly acquired Andrew Benintendi in a move that would put Aaron Judge back in right and see Aaron Hicks and Benintendi share time in left, with Giancarlo Stanton as the designated hitter. Montgomery, who could make his Cardinals debut against the Yankees this weekend, is 22-20 with a 3.94 ERA in six big league seasons.
- Los Angeles Dodgers acquired slugger Joey Gallo from the New York Yankees for double-A right-hander Clayton Beeter. In 140 games for the Yankees, going back to last season, Gallo batted .159 with a .660 OPS and had 25 home runs with 46 RBI. He had 12 of those home runs in 233 at-bats this season. Beeter, 23, was the Dodgers' second-round pick in 2020 out of Texas Tech. He is 0-3 with a 5.75 ERA in 18 appearances (16 starts) at double-A Tulsa this season.
New York Mets acquired outfielder/first baseman Darin Ruf from San Francisco for third baseman J.D. Davis and prospects, multiple outlets reported. According to the New York Post, the Giants also will receive left-hander Thomas Szapucki, along with Class-A pitchers Nick Zwack and Carson Seymour. Ruf, 36, has 11 home runs with 38 RBI in 90 games this season, batting .216 with a .701 OPS.
With files from The Associated Press & Field Level Media