Analysis: Nationals trade Juan Soto and Josh Bell to the Padres
Nationals trade big names in order to acquire five prospects
In 2015, 16-year-old Juan Soto signed a $1.5 million deal with the Washington Nationals. At 16 Soto was considered to have an “above-average offensive tools and a graceful swing,” Jesse Sanchez, a national reporter for the MLB, reported after the Nationals acquired Soto.
Just three years later, Soto and the Nationals won their first World Series in franchise history.
“The way we won it, we are just living the dream,” Soto said in an interview with Fox Sports after winning the 2019 World Series.
Soto brought record-breaking numbers to the franchise. In 2020, he had the highest batting average (.351), slugging percentage (.695) as well as the highest on-base percentage (.490) in the National League.
With stats like these, the Nationals tried to keep the All-Star outfielder by offering him a 15-year, $440 million contract. When Soto rejected the offer, the Nationals looked to trade the 23-year-old.
On August 2, the Nationals made the decision to trade both Juan Soto and Josh Bell to the San Diego Padres in order to acquire five prospects and first baseman Luke Voit.
Many D.C. fans are disappointed by the Nationals’ trade. One fan tweeted, “Losing Bryce Harper, Trea Turner, Anthony Rendon, Max Scherzer and Juan Soto over a 4-year span should be grounds for expulsion.”
Danny O’Neill, a sophomore at American University and a Nationals fan expressed his disappointment in the trade, “I think it’s a shame for those of us that are Nationals fans. We just lost one of the best up-and-comers in the game which really could have changed the Nationals reputation for the better,” O’Neill explained.
While Nationals fans mourn the loss of one of their favorite players, the Nationals are building their farm system — the minor league teams affiliated with a major league team.
The Nationals trading big names like Juan Soto and Josh Bell will enable them to build their team with prospects. Prior to the August trade, the Nationals’ farm system was ranked 23rd in the MLB, with five new prospects the Nationals plan on growing their farm system.
The Soto trade was not the only big trade the Nationals have made in recent years. The Nationals have also traded other world series champions like Max Scherzer, Trea Turner and Kyle Schwarber.
The Nationals are looking to rebuild.
“You lose a generational talent like that, but you put in five key elements of your future championship roster,” said Mike Rizzo, president of the Washington Nationals, in regards to rebuilding, in an interview with NBC Sports Washington.
The Nationals are in last place in the National League East and bringing in new prospects may help them perform at a post-season caliber.