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Report: Nationals, Padres strike blockbuster deal involving Juan Soto-Josh Bell [UPDATE]

The All-Star OF appears to be headed to San Diego in a blockbuster deal. We break down the details.

Juan Soto #22 of the Washington Nationals reacts after flying out against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the eighth inning at Dodger Stadium on July 27, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

The Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres are finalizing deal involving OF Juan Soto and 1B Josh Bell, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Here’s a look at the full package for Soto and Bell, per Passan. Per Jon Heyman, the other player who is being added is 1B Eric Hosmer, who reportedly has a no-trade list that includes the Nationals. That means Hosmer would need to OK the deal, so we’ll see if that creates any snags or another player ends up going back to Washington. Eventually, Hosmer did not clear this move and is instead going to the Boston Red Sox.

Gore is the centerpiece of the deal along with SS C.J. Abrams, who was a top prospect before coming up to the MLB, same as Gore. The issue is Gore is just went down with an elbow injury and could need surgery. That may mean he ends up missing most of the 2023 season. If Gore can come back from the injury, he projects as a potential ace or top of the rotation starters. Abrams has plenty of upside but may take some more time to develop. Hassell and Wood are both top-5 organizational prospects from the Padres.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were also believed to be one of the finalists to acquire Soto from the Nationals. It appears unless something falls through, Soto will be headed to the NL West to the Padres, who are expected to get SS Fernando Tatis Jr. back in the lineup soon. The Padres are now +1200 to win the World Series after being +2000 last night. San Diego has a solid core of Tatis, Manny Machado and Soto for at least the next few seasons. Soto is set to become a free agent in 2025.

Soto, 23, turned down a massive 15-year contract extension from the Nationals. He still has a few years of arbitration before hitting the open market in 2025. So this deal can either turn into a longish rental or a contract extension in the neighborhood of the biggest we’ve seen in the MLB. He’s one of the premier players in the MLB and has a good chance of being the face of the League down the road.

Through five seasons, Soto has 119 HRs and 358 RBI while hitting .291 with a .966 career OPS in 565 games. His best season came in 2021, when he hit .313 while leading the Majors in walks with 145, also adding 29 HRs and 95 RBI, finishing second in NL MVP voting behind Bryce Harper.