Juan Soto, one of MLB’s best young hitters, will join the San Diego Padres from the Washington Nationals, a person with direct knowledge told the Associated Press. The deal has come through just ahead of the August 2 trade deadline. 

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Soto, popularly known as the ‘Childish Bambino’, had made his MLB debut with the Nationals in 2018. The 23-year-old was the runner-up for the NL Rookie of the Year Award. One year later, he helped the outfit in their run to a World Series championship. 

As per USA Today’s source, Washington are set to get a package with pitcher MacKenzie Gore, shortstop C.J. Abrams, outfielders Robert Hassell III and James Wood and Jarlin Susana. First baseman Eric Hosmer has also waived his no-trade provision.

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In return, the Padres will receive first baseman Josh Bell, who is one of the best players available for trade this season. 

Hosmer agreed to a $144 million, eight-year deal with San Diego before the 2018 season. He is owed about $7 million for the rest of this season and $13 million annually from 2023-25.

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While the Nationals are recieving a star contingent, San Diego will hope to boost their championship chances with Soto. The Dominican player, in 2,435 plate appearances since making his Nationals debut, 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.

In 2020, he won the National League with Washington. Soto had an average of .351. He won the Silver Slugger Award in 2020 and 2021 and was an All-Star in 2021 and 2022.

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For Washington, the package looks promising. 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.

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Washington general manager Mike Rizzo set a lofty asking price last month after reports emerged that Soto turned down the team’s latest contract offer of $440 million over 15 years.