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Grading Juan Soto trade for Nationals-Padres

We go over the blockbuster deal between Washington and San Diego for the All-Star outfielder.

Juan Soto #22 of the Washington Nationals tosses his bat after drawing a walk in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park on July 31, 2022 in Washington, DC. Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Update: Luke Voit has been named as the final piece in the trade, bringing the total back to six players heading to Washington, per Jeff Passan.

Update: Hosmer didn’t waive his no-trade clause and was not included in this deal. He has since been traded to the Boston Red Sox.

The biggest expected deal of the MLB trade deadline has been completed as Juan Soto and Josh Bell are heading to the San Diego Padres from the Washington Nationals, per Jon Morosi. The Nats return is shortstop CJ Abrams, left-handed starting pitcher MacKenzie Gore, first baseman Eric Hosmer, outfielder Robert Hassell III, outfielder James Wood and right-handed pitcher Jarlin Susana, per Jeff Passan.

Juan Soto trade grades

San Diego Padres: A

Soto was the biggest commodity that was in play at the deadline, and San Diego sure did pay for him. While it took a relatively big trade package with Abrams, the left side of the infield is held down by Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado. Plus, leading up to the move, we thought Bell would be dealt in separate moves rather than the same deal. Either way, the Padres lose a shortstop and a left-handed major league arm, but have some depth at those two positions. Throw in the veteran Hosmer and replace him with the switch-hitting and younger Bell, and the Padres made a great move here.

Washington Nationals: A-

Once the ship sailed on Soto signing an extension with the Nationals, you have to get what you can for the star outfielder. If they got the return they did without including Bell and were able to move him in a separate deal, this would be an A. Washington is knee-deep into a rebuild, giving them talented players at several positions. Were they ever going to be able to replicate Soto? No. Did they do their best with working with the Moneyball aggregate? Yes. Hosmer, a veteran, is ideal for heading the rebuild for the Nats. This is a move that they will reap the benefits of in the short and long term, and that is all you can ask for. Look for Abrams, Gore and Hosmer to join the major league ball club sooner rather than later while the other pieces develop.