Padres go BIG at MLB’s trade deadline by landing All-Stars Juan Soto, Josh Bell, Josh Hader

After 54 seasons, 4,541 regular-season losses, and a 24-year pennant drought, the San Diego Padres may finally be poised to win the World Series.

As the dust settled after Tuesday’s MLB trade deadline, the Padres found themselves with a trio of All-Stars — Juan Soto, Josh Bell and Josh Hader — as well as Cincinnati Reds third baseman Brandon Drury, who is the midst of the best season of his career.  

San Diego had reasons for optimism before the 6pm EST deadline: All-Star third baseman Manny Machado’s stellar season and the imminent return of shortstop extraordinaire Fernando Tatis Jr. from a wrist injury, to name a few.

Furthermore, San Diego held a two-game lead over the Philadelphia Phillies for the final National League wildcard spot heading into Tuesday. And even 12 games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West at 58-46, the Padres could have been considered a pennant contender, even without a major deadline splash.

Instead, led by their gargantuan acquisition of a budding superstar in Soto, San Diego might be favorited to finally win a World Series crown.

After 54 seasons, 4,541 regular-season losses, and a 24-year pennant drought, the San Diego Padres may finally be poised to win the World Series after acquiring Juan Soto from the Nats

Soto wasn't the only All-Star slugger the Padres got from the Nats: Josh Bell is also going to SD

Soto wasn’t the only All-Star slugger the Padres got from the Nats: Josh Bell is also going to SD

Josh Hader, a four-time All-Star, leads MLB with 29 saves on the season. He's now a Padre

Josh Hader, a four-time All-Star, leads MLB with 29 saves on the season. He’s now a Padre

After reeling in Soto, a generational talent who turns 24 in late October, San Diego general manager A.J. Preller also acquired infielder Brandon Drury (pictured) from Cincinnati. The Padres sent minor league shortstop Victor Acosta to the Reds for the 29-year-old Drury, who has a career-high 20 homers this year

After reeling in Soto, a generational talent who turns 24 in late October, San Diego general manager A.J. Preller also acquired infielder Brandon Drury (pictured) from Cincinnati. The Padres sent minor league shortstop Victor Acosta to the Reds for the 29-year-old Drury, who has a career-high 20 homers this year

And the Padres didn’t just get Soto — a 23-year-old former NL batting champion and two-time All-Star who already won a World Series with the Washington Nationals in 2019.

San Diego began its deadline shopping spree on Monday, acquiring Hader, a four-time All-Star closer, from the Milwaukee Brewers for a package headlined by southpaw Taylor Rogers.

‘The atmosphere here is they want to win, and not just go to the playoffs but win a World Series,’ Hader told reporters Monday.

It’s not clear if Hader knew what Tuesday had in store for his new club, but suffice to say, he was right.

And things are only getting better for the Padres, who expect shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. (pictured) to return from a wrist injury

And things are only getting better for the Padres, who expect shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. (pictured) to return from a wrist injury

The Padres also obtained the slugging first-basemen 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.

After reeling in Soto, a generational talent who turns 24 in late October, San Diego general manager A.J. Preller also acquired infielder Brandon Drury from Cincinnati. The Padres sent minor league shortstop Victor Acosta to the Reds for the 29-year-old Drury, who has a career-high 20 homers this year.

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 Padres already boasted All-Star third baseman Manny Machado before Tuesday's trades

The Padres already boasted All-Star third baseman Manny Machado before Tuesday’s trades

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 rejected the team’s latest contract offer of $440 million over 15 years.

‘We set the bar very, very high, and one team exceeded it and that’s the deal we made,’ Rizzo said. ‘Props to the San Diego Padres. They’re not afraid, and ownership’s not afraid and A.J. Preller’s not afraid and they were aggressive and we made a deal that you call historical.’

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.

‘We were fortunate that it was a well-rounded trade,’ Rizzo said. ‘We’ve got two pitchers, two outfielders and a shortstop, which fit our needs perfectly.’

Although the Padres made the biggest news, Tuesday, they were hardly the only buyers at the deadline.

PHILLIES LAND VETERAN RELIEVER DAVID ROBERTSON AND CENTER FIELDER BRANDON MARSH IN SEPARATE DEALS

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.

LOS ANGELES DODGERS ACQUIRE STRUGGLING JOEY GALLO FROM NEW YORK YANKEES

Gallo’s unproductive tenure with the Bombers ended when he was traded to the 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.

MINNESOTA TWINS GET BALTIMORE ORIOLES CLOSER JORGE LOPEZ AND CINCINNATI REDS STARTING PITCHER TYLER MAHLE

The Twins stocked up their sputtering pitching staff ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline by acquiring Lopez, an All-Star closer, and Mahle, giving up a total of seven prospects to the Orioles and Reds

The 29-year-old Lopez 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.

Lopez 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.

NEW YORK METS SWAP JD DAVIS AND A TRIO OF PITCHING PROSPECTS FOR SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS SLUGGER DARIN RUF

The first-place Mets acquired Ruf from the Giants for Davis and three pitching prospects in an exchange of right-handed bats ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline.

Left-handers Thomas Szapucki and Nick Zwack also went to the Giants along with right-hander Nick Zwack.

Ruf has hammered left-handed pitching this season and throughout his career, something Davis was unable to do in his part-time role primarily at designated hitter this year.

The 36-year-old Ruf is batting .216 with 11 homers, 38 RBIs and a .701 OPS overall in his third season with San Francisco following three years in South Korea with Samsung. But he brings an .886 OPS and nine home runs in 132 plate appearances against lefties, providing a platoon partner at DH for left-handed hitter Daniel Vogelbach, obtained July 22 in a trade with Pittsburgh.

Ruf can play first base and left field, though defense is not his strength.

TORONTO BLUE JAYS ADD MIAMI MARLINS RELIEVERS ANTHONY BASS AND ZACH POP

The AL wild-card contending Jays added depth to their bullpen by acquiring Bass and Pop from the 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 also designated left-hander Anthony Banda for assignment.

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

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS ADD PITCHER JOSE QUINTANA FROM PITTSBURGH PIRATES

Quintana has parlayed his success in Pittsburgh into a job in St. Louis.

The Pirates traded the veteran left-handed pitcher to the Cardinals on Monday night in exchange for reliever Johan Oviedo and corner infield prospect Malcolm Nunez. Pittsburgh also sent right-handed reliever Chris Stratton to St. Louis.

The 33-year-old Quintana signed a $2 million, one-year deal with the Pirates last fall intent on re-establishing himself as a starter after spending most of the last two seasons working out of the bullpen with multiple clubs. Quintana delivered, going 3-5 with a 3.50 ERA in 20 starts with Pittsburgh, including 5 2/3 shutout innings last week against Philadelphia.

Quintana’s reward is jumping from the last-place Pirates to a pennant race. The Cardinals are three games behind first-place Milwaukee in the NL Central and one game out of the final wild-card spot.

Stratton began the season working near the back end of Pittsburgh’s bullpen but struggled at times and found himself being used mostly in non-leverage situations during his final weeks with the Pirates. Stratton, 31, is 5-4 with two saves and a 5.09 ERA this season.

REIGNING CHAMPION ATLANTA BRAVES ADD VETERAN PITCHER JAKE ODORIZZI FROM HOUSTON ASTROS

The World Series champion Braves bolstered their starting staff ahead of the trade deadline Tuesday by giving up a reliever who played a big part in their 2021 title.

Poised for another postseason run, the Braves dealt former closer Will Smith to the Houston Astros for Odorizzi, giving Atlanta a sixth starting pitcher for the final two months of the regular season.

The move was the biggest of three deadline deals pulled off by general manager Alex Anthopoulos, who on Monday gave up minor leaguers for corner outfielder Robbie Grossman from Detroit and infielder Ehire Adrianza from Washington.

Atlanta, with the third-best record in the NL and going into Tuesday’s games trailing the East-leading New York Mets by 3 1/2 games, was seeking additional depth for the rotation.

Ian Anderson has struggled and former All-Star Mike Soroka appears unlikely to make a major contribution this season after two major Achilles’ injuries. Also, there are concerns that 13-game winner Kyle Wright, in his first full big league season, and rookie sensation Spencer Strider could tire down the stretch.

CHICAGO WHITE SOX ADD SOUTHPAW RELIEVER JAKE DIEKMAN FROM BOSTON RED SOX, WHO ADD REDS’ TOMMY PHAM AND PADRES’ ERIC HOSMER

The White Sox acquired left-handed reliever Jake Diekman from the Red Sox on Monday for catcher Reese McGuire and a player to be named or cash.

Later in the day, the Red Sox obtained Pham, a left fielder, in a trade with Cincinnati for a player to be named or cash.

The 35-year-old Diekman is 5-1 with a 4.23 ERA in 44 appearances this season. The 6-foot-4 reliever is particularly tough on left-handed hitters, holding them to a .188 batting average this year.

‘I know he can be very nasty,’ manager Tony La Russa said after the White Sox lost 2-1 to Kansas City on Monday night to drop back to .500 at 51-51. ‘So he’ll help us.’

On Tuesday, the Red Sox also acquired Hosmer from the Padres after he exercised his no-trade option to prevent his inclusion in the Soto deal. Instead of going to Washington, Hosmer now goes to Boston along with minor league infielder Max Ferguson and minor league outfielder Corey Rosier.

The Padres acquired pitching prospect Jay Groome in the deal.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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