Washington Nationals trade superstar Juan Soto to the San Diego Padres

Washington Nationals' Juan Soto adjusts his batting gloves.
Juan Soto was traded by the Washington Nationals to the San Diego Padres.
(Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)

Last week, Juan Soto was showered with “Future Dodger!” chants by the Dodger Stadium crowd.

The next time he returns to Chavez Ravine, he’ll almost certainly be met with a far different reception.

The Washington Nationals on Tuesday traded Soto to the San Diego Padres — making the 23-year-old superstar outfielder the latest blockbuster addition for the Dodgers’ division rivals.

Soto was dealt along with first baseman Josh Bell to the Padres in exchange for a massive return of prospects and young players: left-handed starting pitcher MacKenzie Gore, right-hander Jarlin Susana, shortstop C.J. Abrams and outfielders Robert Hassell III and James Wood. Luke Voit a 31-year-old first baseman/designated, is also headed to the Nationals.


Veteran first baseman Eric Hosmer was originally thought to be part of the package heading to Washington, but he reportedly exercised his no-trade clause. He then reportedly was traded to the Boston Red Sox.

Soto will a join a lineup headlined by Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr.

Soto became available after rejecting a 15-year, $440-million contract extension offer from the Nationals last month, and acquiring him was expected to take an unprecedented haul of assets in return.

The Dodgers are favorites again with a 69-33 record while the rival San Francisco Giants have holes on their roster and don’t boast much talent.

Aug. 1, 2022

But Soto is the kind of generational talent who might be worth it, a two-time All-Star and 2020 National League batting champion who will be under team control not only this year but for the following two seasons as well.

In recent days, the Dodgers, Padres and St. Louis Cardinals had emerged as the three front-runners in trade talks for Soto.

Up until Monday night — less than 24 hours before the trade deadline — the Dodgers were still believed to have a shot at adding the Dominican star.


But by Tuesday morning, the Padres had emerged as Soto’s landing spot, giving up a promising young starter in Gore, two of their top three prospects in Hassell and Wood, and a young position player off their big league roster in Abrams.

With Soto off the board, the Dodgers still have several other options before Tuesday’s 3 p.m. PDT deadline.

Will the Dodgers pull off a blockbuster trade for Nationals star Juan Soto or bolster their pitching staff with Pablo López before the MLB trade deadline?

Aug. 1, 2022

They could target a pitcher, with Pablo López of the Miami Marlins appearing to be one of their top targets.

According to multiple people with knowledge of the situation, the two teams have had discussions about the 26-year-old right-hander, who has a 3.41 ERA in 21 starts this year and is under team control for two more seasons after this year.

The Dodgers did add a bat on Tuesday, acquiring slugger Joey Gallo from the New York Yankees for minor leaguer pitcher Clayton Beeter.

The team could also pursue more bullpen depth.

Or, there is the possibility they remain relatively quiet, content with the construction of a roster that entered deadline day with the best winning percentage in baseball and a 12-game lead over the Padres in the NL West.

Either way, the fact the Dodgers missed out on Soto will sting for much of a fan base that had dreamed about adding the young slugger to an already stacked lineup.


They were hoping to see him at Chavez Ravine wearing Dodger blue.

Instead, Soto is now set to return to Los Angeles again this weekend — this time wearing the uniform of one of the Dodgers’ biggest rivals.