WASHINGTON (AFP) — Washington Nationals slugger Juan Soto and first baseman Josh Bell were sent to the San Diego Padres on Tuesday in a blockbuster deal at the Major League Baseball (MLB) trade deadline.
Teams raced to make final roster moves for the last two months of the campaign, but the biggest was Soto and Bell boosting the Padres’ dreams of a first World Series title.
Washington obtained shortstop C.J. Abrams, pitcher MacKenzie Gore, first baseman Luke Voit and three prospects in exchange for Soto and Bell.
“When the Padres reached the tall threshold we had for the trade, we decided to make the trade,” said Mike Rizzo, the Nationals president of baseball operations.
“It was a well-rounded package. We like the talent level of all the players.”
The Nationals have MLB’s worst record at 35-69. Nats manager Dave Martinez said it was a “crazy” day of “mixed emotions” at seeing Soto depart while welcoming new talent.
“What he meant to us, for the Nationals family, for the fans, for the city, we should cherish that,” Martinez said.