Biggest Deadline Deal Ever? Are the Padres the new NL team to win? What do you make of Juan Soto’s trendy trade?

Juan Soto is San Diego Padre. In the biggest mega event in the 2022 MLB trade deadline, the Washington Nationals tackled the 23-year-old star for a treasure trove of top prospects.

Now that Soto has played his home games at Petco Park, what does that mean for Padres and the rest of baseball this season and beyond? Was there a mid-season trade that big?

ESPN baseball experts Bradford Doolittle, Alden Gonzalez, John Lee, Jesse Rogers and David Schoenefeld answer the biggest questions.

Is this the biggest final trade deal ever?

Alden Gonzalez: Imagine trading Mike Trout in the middle of the 2015 season. Or Ken Griffey Jr. in 1993. Or Ricky Henderson in 1982. Or Willie Maes in 1954. Or Babe Ruth in… Oh, wait, there he is. Yes, you might have to go back to the early part of the 20th century – to literally Babe Ruth Sold To the Yankees in the most famous deal in baseball history – to find suitable companies for the citizens who trade in the 23-year-old Soto. The point is: guys don’t trade when they’re this good and that young. this is different.

David Schoenefeld: Alden is right. There was never a deadline to trade with a young star like Soto. In fact, he’s the first player aged 23 or younger to be traded on the season in a year when he was an All-Star player. He’s arguably the best hitter in the game (granted, he’s not been so good this season, although he’s been hot last month). But to answer the question…it’s hard to beat Tom Seaver’s shocking trade from the Mets to the Reds in 1977 (when the deadline was June 15).

Bradford Doolittle: Bigger than the royal family trading for Stan Belinda in 2003? Can. But, yes, this is a huge opportunity to go down as the biggest final trade deal ever. There is an all-time high potential in Soto teams and he’s doing it before he reaches the top of his career. This in itself is enormous. Let’s say he ended up being one of the 50 best players of all time. I don’t think anyone on that list changed mid-season teams before they were 30, much less before they turned 25. Then you have a bunch of guys that go to the Nationals and have a chance to be really good to them. And there’s also Josh Bell! I don’t think there has ever been a seasonal deal like this.

John Lee: Just forget the trade deadline, this is one of the biggest deals in baseball history. That’s right there with Alex Rodriguez moving from Rangers to Yankees. Combine the fact that Soto is one of the greatest players in the game with the fact that at 23 years old, he is relatively unprecedented in baseball history in terms of offensive production. In the same way that a player like Shohei Ohtani doesn’t really own businesses, this trade doesn’t have a lot of businesses either.

Is Padres the new National League team to beat?

Gonzalez: Prior to this trade, the higher level of the difference was clearly defined. They were Yankees, Dodgers, Astros, Mets, Braves, in whatever order you want to put them. The second layer was a bit murky – the Padres family members had just jumped on top of it now. The top tier now includes six clubs, and Padres is as good as any of the others. It was no longer a matter of whether they could make it to the World Championships. It comes down to whether they can win it. Their pitching crew was already of championship caliber. When Fernando Tates Jr returns, so will theirs.

Jesse Rogers: not necessarily. But this was clearly a move to compete with the Dodgers — not just this season, but over the next few years. If Los Angeles wasn’t such a beast, maybe Padres GM AJ Preller didn’t need to be so aggressive about giving away so much of his ranch system. But as they were formed, the Baders weren’t good enough to get past the Dodgers. Now they have a chance. It won’t be during this regular season unless there is a complete meltdown by L.A. But the two teams, barely a hundred miles apart, will be fighting atop NL West for years to come.

Doolittle: Think of it this way: The Padres are on track to win 90 games and have an operating difference for the team of 87 final wins. That’s very good, and in the playoff format, they’ll be a team that will make an arc. Now I’ve added a player with an All-Star season (Bill), two Top 10 players (Soto and Tates) and a Top Five in Josh Hader. You do all of this without giving up on anyone who is likely to make a huge impact on your extended run. They didn’t catch the Dodgers, but they put themselves out there with everyone else in NL.

Mine: I chose the Padres to win the World Championship last year, in part because I got caught up in off-season hype. So I have some confidence issues lingering here, but the San Diego team seemed to be a part of the supplement team even before Tates returned from the injured list.

What does this deal mean for rival NL West-Dodgers?

Gonzalez: This time last year, Padres was surprised to see Max Scherzer slip off their toes and go down with the Dodgers. They were even more shocked to see Scherzer and Trea Turner together in the same trade – especially when they found the comeback to be inferior. The loss to Scherzer in a number of ways led to Padres’ quick downfall, given how the primary shooters had run out. This year, they’ve made sure to reach the largest commercial segment ever — and now, more than ever, the Dodgers are in a fight. The 12-game cushion in the division will likely be too big for Padres, but the two teams will likely meet in the playoffs, and the two will be very even. The Dodgers promotion staff is leading the majors at ERA, but the Padres lineup is arguably deeper and better. Padres will have Manny Machado, Tatis and now Soto at the top of the lineup – although the Dodgers attack is probably more intimidating.

Rogers: Not much at the moment, but it will keep L.A. pressing hard to add her to the off-season to keep her reign going. If the teams face off in the post-season this year, Soto could be a squad maker, so in that regard, the deal is definitely getting immediate attention from the Dodgers. Not that Soto is prone to left-handed manipulation, but Los Angeles may want to rely on left-hand compromise mitigators for the next couple of years. If there is a Soto specialist, he belongs to Los Angeles

Doolittle: I think this sharpens the Dodgers’ focus on whether they have the right mix in the back of the Bullpen. Los Angeles still has a notable talent advantage over anyone else in the NL, but that gap has narrowed significantly over the past couple of days. Now, when you consider a potential Dodgers-Padres postseason match, Los Angeles should look at these bulls and make sure they have the right man to match the heart of Tates-Soto-Machado (cool!) in the late innings. And they have to make sure they have the right guy to shut it off when the rumbling looms over the other side.

Are Soto/Tates/Machado the most exciting trio in baseball?

Gonzalez: The only real company—and it’s close—is in the same department, with the Dodgers trio made up of Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, and Turner. This is what makes this so much fun. Machado may win the Player of the Year award this season. Soto may be the greatest pure hitter since Ted Williams. Tatis – when he’s healthy, and apparently finally back – may be the most exciting player in the sport. That doesn’t mean the Padres have the best attack in the majors, keep in mind. They were in dire need of help. Only five teams have a lower deceleration rate at this point. But Soto is at the top, Gil is near the middle and Tatis is quickly preparing a massive boost. With their promo crew, they don’t need more.

Rogers: I think the Yankees have good company, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony Rizzo. Yes, Rizzo may not shout “the star” as Soto, the only leftist in the trio, does, but with the game on the line, the couple Who would you prefer to face? I’ll take my chances with Tates/Machado on Judge/Stanton.

Doolittle: it’s the Better The trio in baseball. Neither Soto nor Tates is 24 years old. ZIPS’s three-year forecast at FanGraphs makes them top baseball players in both 2023 and 2024. Machado is an MVP candidate at the moment. This has the potential to be one of the most dynamic multi-season powerhouse trios we’ve ever seen. Thrilling? This sounds exciting. But if you’re a fan of Dodgers (or especially a fan of Giants, Rockies, or Diamondbacks), not so much.

Schoenefeld: I’ll keep going with Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez and Edgar Martinez. I mean, granted, that was 25 years ago, but that was hell for my trio. (With 40 Homer Jay Boehner as Ringo for the group.)

Mine: yes. Not only are they three stars in the primes, but also three stars with the characters Soto, Tatis, and Machado. Not only can three men rip the cap off the ball, but a trio can bring young fans into the sport.

Will Soto sign for a long time with San Diego?

Gonzalez: This is where it gets a little tricky. Soto is preparing to become the first baseball player worth $500 million in history. He can earn more than 40 million dollars a year. At the start of 2025, Soto’s first free agent year, Padres still owed Tatis $306 million over 10 years and Machado $120 million over four years (not to mention $60 million over three years to start bowler Joe Musgrove). , which recently signed an extension). Could they pay another superstar to go beyond that – and stay competitive? Mostly not. The guesswork here is that Soto mashes them through two Octobers, then Preller flips him over in his free agent year to rebuild the farm system he stripped to land Soto in the first place. That’s what Preller’s is good at in the first place.

Rogers: Nobody can know for sure now, but I don’t see it. At the price he would command, the Yankees and the Dodgers would have to share. If the Padres don’t compete in 2024, the Preller can turn Soto again — or if they’re both competing, reconsider a supplement at that point. But there’s always a good chance that a Scott Porras client will get a free agency. Why should this be any different given how young Soto is? Having said that, if San Diego can afford both Tates and Sotos in the long run, there will be no team in the game that can cry.

Doolittle: The image of Soto relaxing with Boras behind the screen at Dodger Stadium during playoffs is hard to get out of one’s mind. It’s also hard to forget Soto confessing to fans chanting, “Fut-ure Dod-ger!” During All-Star Week. This is the history of baseball over the last half century. The best players find their way into the biggest markets. We’re talking about half a billion dollars, right? I still see him ending up with Dodgers. Hope I’m a bit wrong, because this is going to be fun. And I love the idea of ​​Ted Williams wrapping up this generation in Splinter’s hometown. I can’t wait to take the first picture of Soto at Lane Field.

Mine: It’s hard to imagine San Diego would offer so much of its future without knowing what it would take to sign Soto. Soto is likely looking for a half-billion dollar deal, so I have to imagine Padres will do everything they can to lock him up early. If you’re soto though, except for injury, I’m waiting to get access to free agency. This trade should be a confirmation of his unprecedented value and should increase his desire to find the perfect combination of team and salary.

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