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Pads get Soto, Bell for prospect haul; add Drury

Pads get Soto, Bell for prospect haul; add Drury

Aug 2, 2022

  • Jeff PassanESPN


      ESPN MLB insider

      Writer of “The Arm: Contained in the Billion-Greenback Thriller of the Most Priceless Commodity in Sports activities”

The San Diego Padres have acquired celebrity outfielder Juan Soto and first baseman Josh Bell from the Washington Nationals, the groups introduced Tuesday.

The value for the Padres is much from low-cost. The return bundle going to the Nationals consists of prospects in left-handed pitcher MacKenzie Gore, outfielder Robert Hassell III, shortstop C.J. Abrams, outfielder James Wood and right-handed pitcher Jarlin Susana. Washington additionally will get veteran first baseman/designated hitter Luke Voit.

The Padres on Tuesday additionally executed an extra deal earlier than the commerce deadline, buying third baseman/utility man Brandon Drury from the Cincinnati Reds in alternate for shortstop prospect Victor Acosta, it was introduced.

The unique iteration of the take care of the Nationals couldn’t be executed after San Diego first baseman Eric Hosmer, sources mentioned, refused to remove Washington from his no-trade list. He as an alternative was later shipped by the Padres to the Boston Red Sox.

Soto, a two-time All-Star who received this 12 months’s House Run Derby, enriches the Padres as a traditionally proficient 23-year-old hitter whose early-career friends are virtually all Corridor of Famers. He’ll profit drastically from becoming a member of shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. and third baseman Manny Machado close to the highest of the Padres’ lineup.

“We really feel like we will put up a present and it will be actually enjoyable to observe,” mentioned Tatis, who’s near getting back from a damaged left wrist and could possibly be 10 days to 2 weeks away from being added to the energetic roster.

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Tatis has identified Soto since they have been youngsters within the Dominican Republic.

“We now have the expertise,” Tatis mentioned of a doable World Collection run. “We positively have the expertise, and now we have the group to do it. Now it is as much as us to place the work on the market and make it occur.”

The trail from Soto turning down a current 15-year, $440 million contract supply from the Nationals to a take care of the Padres was fast and linear. The Nationals didn’t need to increase their supply. San Diego, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals matched up greatest with Washington’s need for younger expertise.

“We set the bar very, very excessive, and one group exceeded it, and that is the deal we made,” Washington common supervisor Mike Rizzo mentioned. “Props to the San Diego Padres. They are not afraid, and possession’s not afraid and A.J. Preller’s not afraid, they usually have been aggressive — and we made a deal that you just name historic.”

The groups and observers alike regarded the chance to commerce for a participant of Soto’s caliber as a once-in-a-generation occasion, although most groups didn’t have the requisite expertise to enter the fray for a star who would not attain free company till after the 2024 season.

“Finally, we’re taking a look at it as three years, three pennant races with probably the greatest hitters, possibly the most effective hitter within the sport,” mentioned Preller, the Padres’ common supervisor. “That is a very long time. … We’ll have time to determine down the highway the long-term dedication.

“You are speaking a couple of 23-year-old participant who received a World Collection, received a batting title, is a perennial MVP candidate, at that age. I feel we have been on the identical web page what it meant for our franchise.”

As alluring because the membership management is perhaps to the Padres, what issues most is what Soto does greatest: hit. And he does that about in addition to anybody within the sport. Whereas Soto’s batting common this season of .246 is nicely beneath his .291 profession common, he leads the main leagues in walks — he’s the one energetic MLB participant to have extra walks than strikeouts in his profession — and is among the many leaders in house runs (21).

He is also coming off a giant July, when he hit .315/.495/.616 with six house runs.

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“The ambiance right here is that they need to win, and never simply go to the playoffs however win a World Collection,” mentioned All-Star nearer Josh Hader, who was obtained by San Diego on Monday in one other huge take care of the Milwaukee Brewers. “That is a contagious ambiance to be part of.”

In Soto, the Padres obtain a hitter with an unusual eye and energy — the golden mixture that would lead a person to show down $440 million. Since debuting at age 19, Soto has been a revelatory hitter, slashing .291/.426/.537 with 119 house runs, 358 RBIs, 464 walks and 414 strikeouts.

San Diego additionally will get much-needed assist on the right-field spot, the place they’ve gotten simply three house runs this season.

Soto helped lead the Nationals to their first championship in 2019, and whilst Bryce Harper and Max Scherzer and Trea Turner and Anthony Rendon left through free company or trades, Soto remained in Washington, anticipated to hold the mantle for the group.

Soto thanked the group in a sequence of tweets early Wednesday morning, writing, “I’ll at all times really feel honored to have been a Nationwide.”

Thanks to the Nationals group for the chance to comprehend a childhood dream. I’m without end grateful to my teammates and coaches, in addition to the participant improvement and coaching staffs.

— Juan José Soto Pacheco (@JuanSoto25_) August 3, 2022

I’ll at all times really feel honored to have been a Nationwide. The accomplishment of profitable the franchise’s first World Collection title in 2019, and to play for such supportive followers over the past 5 years won’t ever be forgotten.

— Juan José Soto Pacheco (@JuanSoto25_) August 3, 2022

To my Nats Followers: since day one I’ve at all times had the sensation you’ll have a particular house in my coronary heart however the appreciation that I’ve for you went over my expectations.

Thanks for being such a terrific household to me. With Love & Gratitude…Endlessly Yours,

Juan Soto

— Juan José Soto Pacheco (@JuanSoto25_) August 3, 2022

Bell is hitting a career-high .301 with 14 house runs and 57 RBIs in his second season with the Nationals. He spent his first 5 MLB seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, getting an All-Star nod in 2019, and he has a profession .266 batting common with 127 house runs and 454 RBIs.

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Bell, 29, is signed by this season.

Drury, additionally 29, is within the midst of a profession season and may play throughout the diamond. He’s hitting .274 with a career-high 20 house runs. His 59 RBIs is simply 4 in need of his profession excessive, set in 2017 whereas with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

In 9 MLB seasons, which additionally included stops with the New York Mets, Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees, Drury has a .253 profession common with 71 house runs and 249 RBIs.

“To have two minor league gives coming into the season and to have Cincinnati give me this chance and put my profession again on observe, it has been superb,” Drury mentioned within the Reds clubhouse earlier than Cincinnati performed the Miami Marlins. “I can not thank Cincinnati sufficient. An enormous turning level in my profession.”

Drury mentioned he’s comfortable to go to a contender. The Padres are in second place behind the Dodgers within the Nationwide League West.

“To be a part of that lineup goes to be fairly particular, and I am excited to assist them win ballgames,” he mentioned.

Information of the Soto deal instantly was felt at Caesars Sportsbook, with San Diego’s odds of profitable the World Collection enhancing from +2000 to +800. As well as, odds shifted on the Padres profitable the Nationwide League pennant from +800 to +400.

The Nationals personal the majors’ worst file at 36-69. That they had misplaced 4 of 5 video games coming into Tuesday, however they took down the New York Mets 5-1 in Jacob deGrom‘s return to the mound for New York.

The 31-year-old Voit is hitting .225 with 13 house runs and 48 RBIs this season. Previous to becoming a member of the Padres this season, Voit spent 4 seasons with the Yankees and two with the Cardinals. He has 86 profession house runs with 251 RBIs and a .258 batting common.

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Gore, who’s at present on the 15-day injured list with elbow soreness, was just lately added to the Padres’ bullpen. The 23-year-old left-hander made his debut this season after rating among the many sport’s prime pitching prospects since he was chosen within the first spherical of the 2017 draft.

He was distinctive early within the season, going 4-1 with a 1.50 ERA in his first 9 video games, together with eight begins. However he made two straight appearances out of the bullpen after San Diego transitioned from a six-man rotation to a five-man workers.

Gore left after throwing simply 35 pitches in an outing in opposition to the Detroit Tigers on July 25, and his fastball velocity in that sport (92.7 mph) was down greater than 2 mph from his season common. His 70 innings pitched this season are already 19⅔ greater than he threw in 2021, and he was on tempo to far exceed his profession excessive within the minors of 101 innings.

Rizzo mentioned the Nationals reviewed Gore’s elbow MRI and that docs gave the OK to accumulate him. The group will “go simple” with Gore, although, given his heavy workload to this point this season.

Abrams, 21, was the No. 6 choose of the 2019 draft. He’s hitting .232 with two house runs and 11 RBIs within the majors this season and .314 with seven house runs and 28 RBIs at Triple-A El Paso.

Hassell, 20, was the No. 8 choose of the 2020 draft. He’s hitting .299 with 10 house runs and 55 RBIs at high-A Fort Wayne.

Wooden, a 19-year-old outfielder and second-round choice in final 12 months’s draft, is batting .321 with 10 homers and 45 RBIs for Class A Lake Elsinore.

“We have been lucky that it was a well-rounded commerce,” Rizzo mentioned. “We have two pitchers, two outfielders and a shortstop, which match our wants completely.”

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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