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#pounditSaturday, January 28, 2023

Juan Soto trade completion hinges on 1 veteran player

Jul 30, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Juan Soto (22) in the dugout before the game against the Chicago Cubs at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Padres have a trade in place to acquire Juan Soto from the Washington Nationals, but the deal ultimately hinges on one other veteran player’s decision.

The Nationals have agreed to take on the contract of Eric Hosmer as part of the deal in order to obtain a better package of prospects, according to multiple reports. However, Hosmer has a partial no-trade clause, and the Nationals are one of the ten teams on his no-trade list. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported Tuesday that Hosmer has not yet approved the trade, and that the Padres are likely trying to negotiate with him to make it happen.

Hosmer signed an eight-year, $144 million contract with the Padres after the 2017 season. Three years and $39 million remain on that deal from the end of the 2022 season. The Padres are trying to include Hosmer to avoid going over the luxury tax threshold, which would essentially be a certainty if they added Soto without offloading Hosmer. The Padres were close to moving Hosmer’s contract at the start of the season, but those efforts fell through at the last moment.

Typically, teams are willing to give players in Hosmer’s situation something extra in order to waive their no-trade clause. What Hosmer may ask of the Padres — and what the Padres are willing to do — is unknown. However, given the enormity and significance of the agreed deal, Hosmer probably holds a lot of cards right now.

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