Soto, evidently, is the centerpiece of the deal.
He is a two-time All-Star, a two-time Silver Slugger award winner, and a World Series-winning star who is still somehow 23.
Players like him don’t usually become available.
In fact, Sarah Langs of MLB.com offered some historical implications of the Soto trade.
“Two reminders on Juan Soto: – No player, age 23 or younger, has EVER been traded midseason the year he was an All-Star – No player has ever made multiple All-Star teams AND changed teams ALL before turning 24 (h/t @EliasSports). Both of these would apply to Soto,” she tweeted.
Two reminders on Juan Soto:
– No player, age 23 or younger, has EVER been traded midseason the year he was an All-Star
– No player has ever made multiple All-Star teams AND changed teams ALL before turning 24 (h/t @EliasSports)
Both of these would apply to Soto.
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) August 2, 2022
Players Like Soto Don’t Become Available
He is just a young difference-maker with two-and-a-half years of team control.
The Padres will have him for three postseason runs, and they will have that time to convince him to stick around for the long-term.
The only reason why the Nats traded him is because he will likely ask for $500 million or more as a free agent, after the 2024 season.
They offered as much as $440 million, but spread over 15 years: Soto’s camp didn’t like the low average annual value.
As a result, the Padres are trading their farm, but it’s a worthwhile investment: by making Soto join forces with Manny Machado and, eventually, Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego’s middle of the order will be downright scary.
It’s one of the most impressive trades in MLB history, because players like Soto just don’t change teams being so good and young.