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#pounditMonday, January 30, 2023

Juan Soto

Scott Boras had his fingerprints all over Juan Soto trade

Mar 2, 2019; Clearwater, FL, USA; Bryce Harper agent Scott Boras speaks as they formally introduce right fielder Bryce Harper (3) as a Philadelphia Phillie at Spectrum Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Juan Soto was traded by the Washington Nationals to the San Diego Padres on Tuesday, and agent Scott Boras had his fingerprints all over the deal.

The first version of the trade (which later got changed) involved a total of eight players. Incredibly, Boras represented five of the eight players. Those players included Soto and Josh Bell, who went to the Padres; and Eric Hosmer, MacKenzie Gore and James Wood, who went to the Nationals.

Yes, five of the eight players were Boras guys.

Hosmer later vetoed his involvement in the trade and was sent to Boston. Luke Voit, who is not a Boras client, replaced him in the deal.

Boras played a big role in Soto’s trade. His advice likely led Soto to turn down the big $440 million contract offer the 23-year-old turned down from Washington, which led the team to trade him.

The amount of Boras clients who were involved in the trade is likely just a coincidence and not some manipulation by him. If he had involvement in the construction of the deal, Hosmer likely would not have been included in the original iteration of the deal. But it’s still wild to see just how many of his clients were part of the deal.

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.

Juan Soto traded to Padres in huge deal

May 16, 2022; Miami, Florida, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Juan Soto (22) runs to the dugout after the fourth inning against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot Park. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Padres on Tuesday won the Juan Soto sweepstakes.

The Padres acquired Soto and first baseman Josh Bell from the Washington Nationals. In return, the Padres are sending the Nationals a large group of prospects. The prospects include shortstop C.J. Abrams, outfielder James Wood, outfielder Robert Hassell and top pitching prospects MacKenzie Gore and Jarlin Susana. Abrams, Hassell and Gore are all former first-round picks.

The Padres’ acquisition of Soto certainly changes the face of the National League playoff race. Assuming Fernando Tatis Jr. returns healthy, San Diego will have an outstanding middle of the order that also includes Manny Machado. The Padres also appear to have managed to get the deal done without giving up any major contributors to their MLB roster.

San Diego was long viewed as the favorite to nab Soto. General manager A.J. Preller was determined to not get beaten on this deal, and his team now has the pieces to seriously challenge for a World Series.

Report: 3 teams are finalists for Juan Soto trade

Jun 11, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Juan Soto (22) stands in the dugout during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Juan Soto appears likely to land with one of three teams by the end of the day Tuesday, according to a report.

The Washington Nationals are increasingly likely to trade the star outfielder to one of three finalists, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network. The San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals, and Los Angeles Dodgers are the teams still in the mix.

Though there was widespread speculation about some other teams, including the Yankees and Mets, the rumor mill has clearly settled around these three. The Padres and Cardinals have been frequently linked to Soto since it was clear the Nationals were willing to trade him. The Dodgers appear to have become more interested recently.

The 23-year-old Soto is available, albeit for a huge prospect haul. That price seems to be giving at least one team problems. However, it’s likely someone will give in on the price to get Soto before the day is out.

Report: Juan Soto being aggressively pursued by 1 NL powerhouse

Jun 11, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Juan Soto (22) stands in the dugout during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Trade talks surrounding Juan Soto appear to be heating up, at least involving one major National League power.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have been increasingly aggressive in their pursuit of Soto, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. The San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals remain involved and have been viewed as frontrunners.

This would certainly be a case of the rich getting richer, as Soto would be joining what is already one of the best rosters in baseball. The Dodgers and Nationals have also worked on big trades before, particularly last summer’s blockbuster that sent Max Scherzer to Los Angeles. That would mean the Nationals are well-acquainted with the top young players in the Dodger organization already.

The Padres had been viewed as potentially the frontrunner for Soto. Then again, that was the case last year with Scherzer, and the Dodgers swooped in at the last moment there as well. History could certainly repeat itself with Soto.

Report: Padres hit snag in Juan Soto trade talks

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

Juan Soto may be available, but nobody said it would be easy to acquire him.

The San Diego Padres reportedly are the favorites to land Soto in a trade. But one reporter says there is a holdup.

According to Dominican Republic MLB reporter Hector Gomez, the Washington Nationals are now asking the Padres for an additional prospect.

The Nats reportedly were seeking four top prospects in a trade for Soto. If they want an additional prospect from San Diego, that would make the total five players in return for the outfielder.

Soto is only batting .243 this season, which doesn’t seem all that enticing. But Soto has the potential to turn things around this year. Additionally, the price on him is so high because a team that acquires him will get him through 2024 before he becomes a free agent.

Are two and a third seasons of Soto worth five prospects? We’re about to find out.

Report: Nationals making final effort to keep Juan Soto

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

Juan Soto has easily been regarded as the most intriguing trade target on the market ahead of the Aug. 2 deadline, but the Washington Nationals may be making one final effort to keep him in the fold long term.

The Nationals intend to make one final contract offer to Soto prior to the trade deadline, according to MLB reporter Hector Gomez. If Soto rejects it, the Nationals plan to trade the outfielder.

Reports indicated that Soto previously turned down a 15-year, $440 million offer from the Nationals. Although the total amount is extremely high, the average annual value of just over $29 million would not have put Soto at the top of the list of the sport’s highest-paid players.

One team appears to be emerging as a frontrunner if Soto is traded. That may ultimately hinge on whether or not he takes the team’s final offer.

Report: NL team in ‘serious talks’ about Juan Soto trade

May 16, 2022; Miami, Florida, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Juan Soto (22) runs to the dugout after the fourth inning against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot Park. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals have signaled their willingness to trade Juan Soto ahead of the August 2 trade deadline. One team’s talks with the Nats have apparently heated up.

Z101 Digital’s Hector Gomez reported on Thursday that the San Diego Padres are in “serious talks” with the Nats. Gomez says their talks carried over from the night before.

The Padres have been mentioned since the start as a lead contender to land Soto. They have plenty of young players to offer Washington in return.

Apparently they also are not shy about the kind of contract Soto might command. Or maybe they would just be happy having Soto for two and a half seasons before the 23-year-old becomes a free agent in 2025.

The Padres are 55-45 and due to get shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. back soon. A lineup featuring Tatis, Soto and Manny Machado would be quite impressive. General manager A.J. Preller recognizes that, which explains his interest in making a deal.

Report: Rival executives see 1 favorite in Juan Soto trade talks

Jun 11, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Juan Soto (22) stands in the dugout during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

With a Juan Soto trade looking realistic before the Aug. 2 trade deadline, the big question is which team is best positioned to land the young superstar. A new report suggests that a National League rival might be poised to pull it off.

Some rival executives believe the San Diego Padres are the frontrunners for Soto, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney. Still, no deal appears imminent.

The Padres certainly have a general manager in A.J. Preller who is famous for being aggressive in the market. They also have some top prospects they might be willing to move in the deal, though previous reports have indicated that Fernando Tatis Jr. is not on the table.

The Padres will face stiff competition, as pretty much every team will feel obligated to at least check in with the Washington Nationals on Soto. Things can change as well, as it was not long ago a different team was being touted as a potential frontrunner.

Nationals GM voices frustration with Juan Soto rumors

Jun 11, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Juan Soto (22) stands in the dugout during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo is not pleased that reports and rumors about Juan Soto leaked just before the All-Star Game.

In an appearance on “The Junkies” on 106.7 The Fan Wednesday, Rizzo denied that either he or the Nationals’ front office had been behind the leak of the contractual terms Soto rejected. Rizzo added that the leak hurt the team, both in terms of its relationship with Soto and for trade deadline leverage.

While it doesn’t really matter who leaked the Soto contract, it’s certainly an interesting subplot. The team did not really have any reason to do so. Considering how upset Soto was by the reports, it seems unlikely that anyone extremely close to him would have done it either.

As for the trade deadline, the Nationals are fortunate that they have Soto under team control for two more seasons after this one. That allows them to set a firm asking price and stick to it with more minimal risk.