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MLB Trade Deadline Day Tracker: Pads, Nats make Juan Soto deal

Aug 2, 2022, 10:32 AM | Updated: 3:53 pm

SAN DIEGO (AP) – The San Diego Padres acquired superstar outfielder Juan Soto from the Washington Nationals on Tuesday in one of baseball’s biggest deals at the trade deadline, vaulting their postseason chances by adding one of the game’s best young hitters.

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The Padres also obtained first baseman Josh Bell while sending a haul of players to Washington that included rookie left-hander MacKenzie Gore, first baseman/DH Luke Voit and prospects James Wood, C.J. Abrams, Robert Hassell III and Jarlin Susana.

Voit was a late addition to the deal after San Diego first baseman Eric Hosmer declined to waive a no-trade provision, according to a person with direct knowledge of the move who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because negotiations were ongoing at the time.

Soto is a generational talent who turns 24 in late October, when the Padres hope hope to still be playing for a title.

After contributing to the Nationals’ first championship in franchise history in 2019, Soto hit .351 in 2020 to win the NL batting title. He has been walked more than any other player in major league baseball over the past two seasons.

“The atmosphere here is they want to win, and not just go to the playoffs but win a World Series,” said All-Star closer Josh Hader, who was obtained by San Diego on Monday in another big deal with Milwaukee. “That’s a contagious atmosphere to be a part of.”

San Diego began the season with a luxury tax payroll of $229.3 million, just below the first threshold, and the trades push the Padres into tax territory for the second straight season. Soto is owed $5,978,022 for the rest of this season and Bell $3,516,844.

The package of prospects going to Washington is one of the most touted groups ever involved in one deal. Gore and Abrams debuted in San Diego this season after ranking among the sport’s elite minor leaguers, Hassell and Wood are both Top 100 prospects according to MLB.com, and Susana was considered the best pitcher available in the 2021-22 international free agent class.

Washington general manager Mike Rizzo set a lofty asking price last month after reports emerged that Soto turned down the team’s latest contract offer of $440 million over 15 years.

Soto remains under team control for two more seasons after this one, which made it no sure thing the Nationals would trade him now. The Padres getting him for potentially three playoff runs even absent a new deal made this the peak of Soto’s value.

That uncertainty began weighing on Soto, who said after Sunday’s game against St. Louis: “I just want to get it over with and see what’s going to happen. Start over here or wherever I’m at.”

He gets to start over in San Diego in the midst of his second All-Star season, part of a loaded lineup that also includes All-Star Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. when the shortstop returns from a broken left wrist.

“It’s pretty impressive to have those three types of guys on one team in the same lineup,” said Wil Myers, the Padres’ longest-tenured player. “Excited to see that trio, hopefully in the next week or two.”

Tatis could be 10 days to two weeks away from being added to the active roster.

With little protection around him in Washington’s lineup, Soto hit .246 with 20 home runs and 45 RBIs and 91 walks in 101 games.

In 2,435 plate appearances since making his Nationals debut in 2018, Soto is batting .291 with 118 home runs and 357 RBIs. He’s only a couple of years removed from slugging .695 with a 1.185 OPS and .490 on-base percentage – all NL bests.

Soto becomes the latest Nationals player to be traded as part of the organization’s long-term rebuild and with ownership looking to sell the team. Rizzo traded shortstop Trea Turner, ace Max Scherzer, power hitter Kyle Schwarber and five others at the deadline last year, and Washington has let Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon and others move on in free agency.

The quintet of young players coming from San Diego could join the ones acquired last year – including pitcher Josiah Gray and catcher Keibert Ruiz – as the core of Washington’s next contender.

Gore, a 23-year-old left-handed pitcher, had a 1.50 ERA through his first nine starts this year but is now on the injured list with elbow inflammation. Abrams struggled as a fill-in for injured Tatis at shortstop to begin the season, but he’s only 21 and has hit .314 at Triple-A.

The 20-year-old Hassell, the No. 8 overall pick in the 2020 amateur draft, hit an RBI single in last month’s All-Star Futures Game. Wood, a 19-year-old outfielder and second-round selection in last year’s draft, is batting .321 with 10 homers and 45 RBIs for Class-A Lake Elsinore. Susana, an 18-year-old right-hander, has a 2.45 ERA with 44 strikeouts in 29 1/3 innings with San Diego’s complex league team.

Twins stock staff with O’s closer López, Reds starter Mahle

The Minnesota Twins stocked up their sputtering pitching staff ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline by acquiring All-Star closer Jorge López in a deal with the Baltimore Orioles and starter Tyler Mahle in a swap with the Cincinnati Reds, giving up a total of seven prospects.

The 29-year-old López is in the middle of a breakout season for the Orioles, with a sparkling 1.68 ERA and 19 of his 20 career saves. The 27-year-old Mahle is 5-7 with a 4.40 ERA in 19 starts with 114 strikeouts over 104 1/3 innings for the Reds.

The Twins, who took a one-game lead in the AL Central into their game on Tuesday night, have a 5.30 team ERA since the All-Star break.

López joins a Twins team that has been desperate to find reliable late-inning options beyond Jhoan Duran. Griffin Jax has been a find after his conversion from a starting role in 2021, but Emilio Pagan was recently moved into lower-leverage situations and Tyler Duffey has an ERA (4.57) almost two runs higher than his cumulative total of the previous three seasons.

Mahle will help shore up a rotation that has been ravaged by injuries, with Bailey Ober, Josh Winder, Chris Paddack, Kenta Maeda and Randy Dobnak all sidelined. The Twins acquired Mahle’s former teammate, Sonny Gray, in a March trade with the Reds.

Baltimore received minor league pitchers Cade Povich, Yennier Cano, Juan Nuñez and Juan Rojas from Minnesota for López. Only Cano has major league experience, but Povich was a third-round draft pick last year.

Cincinnati got the bigger haul of minor leaguers — infielders Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Spencer Steer, and left-handed pitcher Steve Hajjar.

Including 2021 first-rounder Chase Petty, who went to the Reds for Gray, the Twins have now traded four of their first five picks from last year’s draft. Hajjar, Povich and Encarnacion-Strand went in the second, third and fourth rounds, respectively.

Phillies get reliever Robertson, OF Marsh in pair of trades

The Philadelphia Phillies acquired veteran reliever David Robertson and center fielder Brandon Marsh in a pair of trades on Tuesday.

Philadelphia sent minor league pitcher Ben Brown to the Chicago Cubs for the 37-year-old Robertson, one of the top relievers on the market ahead of the trade deadline. The Phillies got Marsh from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for catching prospect Logan O’Hoppe.

Philadelphia is fighting for one of three NL wild cards. It hasn’t made the postseason since 2011.

The well-traveled Robertson also played for the Phillies in 2019, making seven appearances before he was sidelined by an elbow injury that required surgery. He didn’t make it back to the majors until he pitched in 12 games with Tampa Bay in 2021.

Robertson is 3-0 with a 2.23 ERA and 14 saves in 36 appearances this year. The right-hander finalized a $3.5 million, one-year contract with the Cubs on March 16.

Robertson made his big league debut in 2008 and spent his first seven seasons with the New York Yankees, winning the World Series in 2009. He has 151 saves and a 2.89 ERA in 709 career appearances.

The 22-year-old Brown was selected by the Phillies in the 33rd round of the 2017 amateur draft. The right-hander was 3-5 with a 3.08 ERA in 16 appearances with High-A Jersey Shore this year, including 15 starts.

Marsh is a lefty-hitting, righty-throwing 24-year-old with speed and power projection. He ranked among Los Angeles’ top prospects before debuting in the majors last season, but he has struggled in the big leagues. He’s a .239 hitter in 163 games with 10 homers, 14 stolen bases and a .653 OPS.

His defense is well regarded, and that’s an area Philadelphia sorely needed to upgrade. Marsh trails only Brett Phillips and Minnesota’s Max Kepler among major league outfielders in Outs Above Average, according to Statcast.

The Phillies have stayed in the playoff race despite losing 2021 NL MVP Bryce Harper because of a broken thumb on June 25. He’s expected to begin swinging a bat soon and should return before the end of the season.

Philadelphia also designated veteran outfielder Odúbel Herrera and reliever Jeurys Familia for assignment. The move could end Herrera’s eight-year tenure with the team that included a lengthy ban under Major League Baseball’s joint domestic violence policy.

The 22-year-old O’Hoppe has developed into one of the majors’ top catching prospects. He was batting .275 with 15 homers and 45 RBIs in 75 games with Double-A Reading.

Gallo sent to Dodgers by Yankees ahead of trade deadline

Joey Gallo’s unproductive tenure with the New York Yankees ended when he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday for minor league right-hander Clayton Beeter.

The 28-year-old outfielder was acquired from Texas on July 29 last year and hit .159 for the Yankees with 25 homers, 46 RBIs and 194 strikeouts in 421 at-bats. He was booed repeatedly by fans at Yankee Stadium, lost playing time in recent weeks to Matt Carpenter and became superfluous when New York acquired Andrew Benintendi from Kansas City last week.

A two-time All-Star, Gallo has a $10,275,000 salary and is owed $3,613,187 for the remainder of the season. He is eligible for free agency after the World Series.

Beeter, 23, was 0-3 with a 5.75 ERA this season at Double-A Tulsa, striking out 88 and walking 35 in 51 2/3 innings. He was drafted by the Dodgers with the 66th pick in the 2020 amateur draft and signed for a $1,196,500 bonus.

Blue Jays obtain relievers Bass and Pop from Marlins

The AL wild-card contending Toronto Blue Jays added depth to their bullpen by acquiring relievers Anthony Bass and Zach Pop from the Miami Marlins for shortstop prospect Jordan Groshans on Tuesday.

Bass is 2-3 with 1.41 ERA in 45 games, while Pop has a 2-0 record and a 3.60 ERA over 18 outings.

Groshans, taken 12th overall in the 2018 draft by Toronto, is hitting .250 with one homer and 24 RBIs over 67 games with Triple-A Buffalo.

The Blue Jays also received a player to be named later.

Toronto left-hander Andrew Vasquez was claimed off waivers by the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Blue Jays were scheduled to open a two-game series Tuesday against another wildcard contender, the Tampa Bay Rays.

Yankees get OF Bader from Cards for LHP Montgomery at trade deadline

The Yankees acquired Gold Glove-winning center fielder Harrison Bader from the St. Louis Cardinals for left-hander Jordan Montgomery ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline, a surprising deal aimed at improving defense.

A speedy 28-year-old from Bronxville, New York, Bader has not played since June 26 because of plantar fasciitis in his right foot.

When he returns, he likely would play center field in a move that would put Aaron Judge back in right and see Aaron Hicks in left, with Giancarlo Stanton as the designated hitter.

Montgomery was 3-3 with a 3.69 ERA in 21 starts. His departure came one day after Frankie Montas was acquired from Oakland to join Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes and Jameson Taillon in the rotation.

Domingo Germán likely will remain in the rotation in the absence of Luis Severino, who is out until at least mid-September because of a strained lat muscle in his right side.

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MLB Trade Deadline Day Tracker: Pads, Nats make Juan Soto deal