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Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Nationals trade Juan Soto to the Padres

Update: Jim Bowden on MLB Radio says the deal is completely finalized. 11:52 AM - Jim

Update 2: Bowden says Gore is also part of the package. 11:55 AM - Jim

Update 3:

Update 4:

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 02, 2022 at 11:48 AM | 121 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: juan soto, nationals, padres

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 02, 2022 at 11:51 AM (#6089420)
Reports say Mackenzie Gore is going to Washington too.
   2. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: August 02, 2022 at 11:54 AM (#6089424)
This is bad for baseball. Hell, Manfred should veto it on those grounds.
   3. The Duke Posted: August 02, 2022 at 11:56 AM (#6089425)
Passan reporting one more major leaguer in deal. Maybe Kim
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 02, 2022 at 11:58 AM (#6089427)
Nationals should have just paid the dude.
   5. JJ1986 Posted: August 02, 2022 at 11:58 AM (#6089428)
   6. John DiFool2 Posted: August 02, 2022 at 11:58 AM (#6089429)
Never thought I'd pine for the halcyon days of Bowie Kuhn...

And I thought the Mookie trade was bad.
   7. jmurph Posted: August 02, 2022 at 11:59 AM (#6089430)
Nationals should have just paid the dude.

1. Pay him.
2. Do literally nothing with him because he's still under team control for two more seasons.
3. Find a new GM who can find a way to pay him or build a winner around him.

I feel like there were several decent options here!
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 02, 2022 at 11:59 AM (#6089431)
Eric Hosmer headed to WAS
   9. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: August 02, 2022 at 12:01 PM (#6089432)
Nationals should have just paid the dude.


Or at least kept him until 2025. He's young and looks to be an all-time great. That's the kind of player you don't trade no matter what. You can't possibly get an adequate return.
   10. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 02, 2022 at 12:06 PM (#6089433)
2. Do literally nothing with him because he's still under team control for two more seasons.


This. There was no need to trade Soto now. Bad teams are allowed to have great players; bad teams, in fact, need great players even more than good teams do.
   11. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: August 02, 2022 at 12:06 PM (#6089434)
Eric Hosmer? Does that actually add any value to this deal? He's about average this year, after being below average for the past four years. And he's getting older. You'd think that including him makes this even WORSE for WAS.
   12. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 02, 2022 at 12:08 PM (#6089435)
Hosmer has negative trade value. He also has a NTC with Washington on it, so he has to consent to this deal.
   13. I don't want to talk about Rocco Posted: August 02, 2022 at 12:09 PM (#6089436)
Congrats to the Padres. Slick move

Also glad that the Cards fan who keeps showing up in Brewer forums and Twitter saying Cards get Soto and then “crush you pissants once and for all “ will go away for now. Why Is a 60 year old dude is so motivated is super weird

Apologies for profiling but cmon. Pissant? Totally old dude word.
   14. jmurph Posted: August 02, 2022 at 12:10 PM (#6089437)
Hosmer has negative trade value. He also has a NTC with Washington on it, so he has to consent to this deal.

I don't want to defend Rizzo here but I'm assuming eating a bit of Hosmer's (much smaller over the next three years) salary enabled them to get better prospects in the deal. This is, depending on the details, the least objectionable part of this whole nonsense.
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 02, 2022 at 12:11 PM (#6089438)
Jim Bowden getting dunked-on on Twitter.

Love the picture of Babe.
   16. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: August 02, 2022 at 12:11 PM (#6089439)
Eric Hosmer? Does that actually add any value to this deal? He's about average this year, after being below average for the past four years. And he's getting older. You'd think that including him makes this even WORSE for WAS.

Taking him probably got the Nats another prospect (or 2, or just better ones) since the Padres are trying to stay out of the tax.
   17. SoSH U at work Posted: August 02, 2022 at 12:12 PM (#6089440)
2. Do literally nothing with him because he's still under team control for two more seasons.


Yes, I hate the idea that "we have to get something for him. Having a great player on your team is very much something.
   18. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 02, 2022 at 12:13 PM (#6089441)
He also has a NTC with Washington on it, so he has to consent to this deal.


@ericstephen
This is the most power Eric Hosmer's had all season
   19. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: August 02, 2022 at 12:14 PM (#6089442)
What they're getting isn't remotely adequate, even without eating Hosmer.
   20. DL from MN Posted: August 02, 2022 at 12:17 PM (#6089445)
What they're getting isn't remotely adequate, even without eating Hosmer.


Agreed
   21. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: August 02, 2022 at 12:18 PM (#6089446)
What they're getting isn't remotely adequate, even without eating Hosmer.

I tend to agree. There's a chance that all of the prospects pan out and the Nats still get the worse end of this deal.

OTOH, I think it's probably going to be really hard for the Padres to sign Soto long term, considering how much they're paying Tatis and Machado. They should figure it out, but if nothing else it seems like they realize that's a 2025 problem and can just focus on kicking ass the next 2.5 years/3 postseasons. They look to have a very strong team heading into the playoffs, but being a WC makes winning the whole thing even harder.
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 02, 2022 at 12:19 PM (#6089447)
What they're getting isn't remotely adequate, even without eating Hosmer.

Not even close.
   23. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 02, 2022 at 12:19 PM (#6089448)
The Padres are almost certainly trading Soto in two years.
   24. DCA Posted: August 02, 2022 at 12:22 PM (#6089449)
Honestly, I think the Nats are right to move Soto. Obviously, if you can keep Soto, you don't. But it appears that the Nats can't. He's made it clear that he'd almost certainly be leaving after 2024 and the team is too far away to seriously contend before then. This allows them to restock, and let's be honest, Abrams (BA #11), Hassell (#25), Wood (#62), Gore if healthy (former top 10) is quite the prospect haul.

Maybe it would be different if Corbin and Strasburg hadn't both collapsed, or if Robles and Keiboom had exceeded their 10% percentile outcomes. But with the last 2.5 years as they actually happened, this is the only way forward.
   25. Nasty Nate Posted: August 02, 2022 at 12:22 PM (#6089450)
The Padres are almost certainly trading Soto in two years.
That's a weird prediction.
   26. Nasty Nate Posted: August 02, 2022 at 12:23 PM (#6089451)
Honestly, I think the Nats are right to move Soto. Obviously, if you can keep Soto, you don't.
They can keep him for 2.5 years without lifting a finger.
   27. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 02, 2022 at 12:24 PM (#6089452)
Obviously, if you can keep Soto, you don't. But it appears that the Nats can't

They should have just offered more money.

The odds are very high that none of these prospects ever puts up more career WAR than Soto will in the next two years.

They can keep him for 2.5 years without lifting a finger.

This too.
   28. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: August 02, 2022 at 12:35 PM (#6089456)
You trade for prospects hoping that they're going to be great players whose cost controlled years you're going to get. But Soto is already a great player, and they've already got another 2.5 cost-controlled years of him. They're trading the guy they're hoping to get in a trade.
   29. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 02, 2022 at 12:42 PM (#6089459)
You trade for prospects hoping that they're going to be great players whose cost controlled years you're going to get.

It feels to me like teams convince themselves to make these trades by dreaming that all the prospects are going to have 85%-ile outcomes at the same time. Has there been one of these trades that worked out for the team selling the superstar?
   30. DCA Posted: August 02, 2022 at 12:44 PM (#6089460)
They can keep him for 2.5 years without lifting a finger.

They could keep Soto and sign every good FA this offseason and next and still wouldn't be able to field a contender in 2024. They aren't winning with or without Soto before 2025, and if he won't extend then this is the best move.
   31. Banta Posted: August 02, 2022 at 12:45 PM (#6089461)
Well, I am pretty shocked by this. Seems light for Soto and they had to throw in Bell too. Can’t help but feel there’s some non-baseball, team-selling reasons involved here that aren’t apparent at the current moment.

Great job Padres!
   32. Nasty Nate Posted: August 02, 2022 at 12:46 PM (#6089463)
They could keep Soto and sign every good FA this offseason and next and still wouldn't be able to field a contender in 2024. They aren't winning with or without Soto before 2025,
That is false.
   33. winnipegwhip Posted: August 02, 2022 at 12:52 PM (#6089465)
Does this surpass the Pedro deal to Boston as the worst trade in franchise history?
   34. Banta Posted: August 02, 2022 at 12:53 PM (#6089466)
The debate here isn’t whether trading Soto is the right move. It probably isn’t but it could be in the right circumstances I suppose. But why right now? This seems like a trade that would be better maximized in the off-season. It feels like he had to be traded now and that raises some very interesting questions.
   35. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 02, 2022 at 12:53 PM (#6089467)
Has there been one of these trades that worked out for the team selling the superstar?


Teixeira from the Rangers to the Braves is the gold standard. The Rangers got three guys who eventually made an All-Star team: Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, and Matt Harrison, plus Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who was a legitimate major leaguer.
   36. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 02, 2022 at 12:55 PM (#6089468)
Obviously, if you can keep Soto, you don't. But it appears that the Nats can't. He's made it clear that he'd almost certainly be leaving after 2024 . . .
The Nationals never made a non-gimmicky offer, with their last one heavily backloaded, and Soto was always clear that his was fine staying in Washington. Trading him was the worst of their options, IMHO, and the deal isn’t that good. A lot depends on the outfield prospects. If they come through there’s something, but none of the other players look that great. Three years of Hosmer is a pretty big negative too, especially with the National including Josh Bell in the deal.
   37. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 02, 2022 at 12:57 PM (#6089469)
Has there been one of these trades that worked out for the team selling the superstar?


Like a big trade where the prospects turned out good? That happens all the time. Royals trade Zack Greinke, Indians trade Bartolo Colon, Rays trade James Shields, Rangers trade Mark Texiera.
   38. Ron J Posted: August 02, 2022 at 01:01 PM (#6089470)
#37 I wonder if Mark Langston meets the definition. Odds are the Mariners didn't regret that trade.
   39. Nasty Nate Posted: August 02, 2022 at 01:01 PM (#6089471)
The debate here isn’t whether trading Soto is the right move. It probably isn’t but it could be in the right circumstances I suppose. But why right now? This seems like a trade that would be better maximized in the off-season. It feels like he had to be traded now and that raises some very interesting questions.
There's trade off. He has more value now to a current contender because you get 2 months of Soto in a playoff race plus postseason. But in the offseason, you would have more potential trading partners to drive up the price, and more time to work out a beneficial 3-team complicated deal.
   40. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 02, 2022 at 01:03 PM (#6089472)

Does this surpass the Pedro deal to Boston as the worst trade in franchise history?
.

Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips, and Grady Sizemore for Colon is still #1 for me.
   41. DL from MN Posted: August 02, 2022 at 01:17 PM (#6089474)
Has there been one of these trades that worked out for the team selling the superstar?


Alomar for McGriff? But that's 2 superstars traded for each other. That would be like Soto for Tatis.
   42. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: August 02, 2022 at 01:20 PM (#6089475)
Like a big trade where the prospects turned out good? That happens all the time. Royals trade Zack Greinke, Indians trade Bartolo Colon, Rays trade James Shields, Rangers trade Mark Texiera.

None of those guys were Juan Soto though. I guess because teams don't normally trade 23 year old superstars with multiple years of control left.

---

Sounds like Hosmer doesn't want to go do DC, so things are still in progress. I think the most likely scenario is a 3rd team that's not on Hosmer's no trade list gets involved and gets a prospect out of it.
   43. Red Menace Posted: August 02, 2022 at 01:22 PM (#6089476)
The rest of the trade package disappointed, but Mike Cameron combined for 10 WAR in 2000/2001 and surely the money saved by not extending Griffey went toward the Ichiro signing.
   44. Where have you gone Brady Anderson? Posted: August 02, 2022 at 01:22 PM (#6089477)
So, I root for the Red Sox and Nationals, and I’m still not really over the Mookie trade. I might be done. Maybe I’ll feel better after a good night’s sleep, but you can only be punched in the mouth so many times before you just give up.
   45. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: August 02, 2022 at 01:25 PM (#6089478)
Ticket prices at Nats Park for the 12th are about to go through the roof...
   46. Darren Posted: August 02, 2022 at 01:34 PM (#6089480)
Seems like most everyone thinks that the Padres ripped off the Nats here. My initial reaction was the opposite, so I'm surprised. The Nats got back:

--Gore, former #77 prospect, pitching okay in first year of MLB
--Abrams, former #11, in MLB at 21 but struggling
--Hassell, #41, playing well in A+ at 21
--Wood, #66, crushing A ball at 19
--Susanna, a 40+ (not ranked)

That seems like a lot--more than I thought they would get. I figured an MLB ready/rookie good player, and 2 good to great prospects. What was everyone else expecting?

   47. bobm Posted: August 02, 2022 at 01:36 PM (#6089482)
NY Post 6/2/22: "Juan Soto’s value is exactly why Nationals won’t trade him By Jon Heyman"

Nationals higher-ups are telling insiders they have no intention to trade superstar Juan Soto, as we first reported on The New York Post podcast “The Show,” and the reason comes down to dollars and common sense. The Nats are for taking bids to sell the team — they are allegedly hoping to fetch a record $3 billion, or close to it — and word is most or all prospective buyers are telling the current Nats-owning Lerner family they prefer Soto on the team. The 23-year-old superstar is the Nats’ best asset, and buyers want him around if they are going to spend $2 billion-plus.

“Juan’s staying,” Nats GM Mike Rizzo confirmed to The Post after saying as much on “The Sports Junkies” D.C. radio show Wednesday, the day after our podcast.
   48. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: August 02, 2022 at 01:44 PM (#6089485)
Maybe I’ll feel better after a good night’s sleep, but you can only be punched in the mouth so many times before you just give up.

Don't worry, the number of times you can be punched in the mouth and keep coming back turns out to be pretty high. -Love, an A's fan.
(seriously, the teams you pull for won 4 WS in the last 18 years while running up some of the highest payrolls and fielding some of the most exciting superstars. You're doing ok!)
   49. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: August 02, 2022 at 01:45 PM (#6089486)
Ticket prices at Nats Park for the 12th are about to go through the roof...


As it turns out, I'll be visiting DC on the 12th and bought tix to this game months ago.
   50. SoSH U at work Posted: August 02, 2022 at 01:46 PM (#6089487)
Odds are the Mariners didn't regret that trade.


I don't think they regretted the Big Unit Deal on the other end either. Freddy Garcia, Carlos Guillen and John Halama was a nice return for two months of Randy.
   51. Steve Sparks Flying Everywhere Posted: August 02, 2022 at 01:47 PM (#6089489)
If I’m the Nats, don’t I worry that Soto has chance to become even better since he’s only 23? It’s one thing to give up peak Juan Soto but at this point you don’t even know what that looks like. Unless Soto is somehow older than his listed age. Which I doubt.
   52. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: August 02, 2022 at 01:53 PM (#6089491)
Maybe I’ll feel better after a good night’s sleep, but you can only be punched in the mouth so many times before you just give up.


Don't worry, the number of times you can be punched in the mouth and keep coming back turns out to be pretty high. -Love, an A's fan.
(seriously, the teams you pull for won 4 WS in the last 18 years while running up some of the highest payrolls and fielding some of the most exciting superstars. You're doing ok!)


On reflection, that came off as insensitive. This whole thing must really suck for Nats fans. I feel bad for you guys, and the empathy is coming from a place of personal experience. -Love, an A's fan.
   53. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 02, 2022 at 01:54 PM (#6089492)
It is a bad day for the sport when a team that has control of an elite, young superstar for 2+ more years feels compelled to trade them for a bunch of lottery tickets (good lottery tickets, but still...).

Here's my genuine question: What would be the offer Washington would have been able to make to Soto right now that would have gotten him to sign on the dotted line for the next 8-10 years? Would 10/$400m done it (basically, an eight-year extension, with the next two years avoiding arbitration)? And if not, then what would you want the Nats to do?
   54. Textbook Editor Posted: August 02, 2022 at 01:56 PM (#6089495)
Would the Nats accept 2 months of a slightly used JD Martinez instead? Maybe the Red Sox can get in on this and accept Hosmer if the Padres eat some of what's left on the 3/$39 he has coming from 23-25? He's not great, but honestly he'd be a massive upgrade from what they have and a hedge if Casas struggles in 2023.
   55. SoSH U at work Posted: August 02, 2022 at 01:57 PM (#6089497)
And if not, then what would you want the Nats to do?


If all else fails, keep him around until he leaves via FA. Sure, if someone bowls you over with a truly elite package of top prospects or young players, you can and should listen. But the idea that you have to move these guys is absurd and a blight on the sport. And the reason I'm no longer a Red Sox fan, four titles in 18 years or not.

   56. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: August 02, 2022 at 01:58 PM (#6089498)
Haven't seen it mentioned in this thread, but there are rumors that the Nats will be sold, so there's the possibility that once Soto turned down the last offer that orders came down to get rid of him, since the future price tag would be uncertain.
   57. Banta Posted: August 02, 2022 at 01:59 PM (#6089499)
Again, I think I’m surprised that Bell went in the same deal. He’s not great, but he’s worth something at the deadline.

For Soto, I would want to hold out for a near ML ready prospect who could approximate at least half of Soto. The ML ready players in this don’t seem to fit that description and the lower minor prospects are a crapshoot.

If you had to get rid of Soto, this haul is fine but I question the reasoning behind that premise.

56, I mentioned that and I think that’s the most reasonable explanation for what’s going on, but I am still not sure how the puzzle pieces fit together. I would think a franchise with Soto, under contract past two years or not, would be more valuable, but I don’t buy and sell baseball teams.
   58. jmurph Posted: August 02, 2022 at 02:03 PM (#6089501)
What would be the offer Washington would have been able to make to Soto right now that would have gotten him to sign on the dotted line for the next 8-10 years? Would 10/$400m done it (basically, an eight-year extension, with the next two years avoiding arbitration)? And if not, then what would you want the Nats to do?

I don't know if others will agree, but given that he's only 23, any long term offer that doesn't include an opt-out for him is not a serious proposal (barring something truly bonkers like 12/$500m or whatever). He's so good and so young that he should be able to get paid now and then again when he's 30ish, and even then you'd still be locking him in for the 2 arb years and first 4-5 years of free agency.
   59. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: August 02, 2022 at 02:04 PM (#6089502)
If I’m the Nats, don’t I worry that Soto has chance to become even better since he’s only 23?


I'm not sure it's possible to hit any better than Soto does now. Here are a random smattering of guys who were superstars by age 23, with their best before-23 and best after-23 seasons.

Pujols       8.7       9.7
A
-Rod        10.4      9.4
Trout        10.5      10.5
Griffey      8.2       7.6
Williams     10.5      10.6
Hurt         7.0       7.3
Mays         10.5      11.2
Miggy        5.8       7.6
Robinson     5.8       8.7
Soto         7.1       
??? 


Pujols basically stayed the same (but very consistently great).
A-Rod I cheated a bit on, his before-23 was actually his age 24 season.

Point is, it's hard to get much better than Soto is now. The question is how long will he keep it up, and how consistently will he stay at this level?

   60. Where have you gone Brady Anderson? Posted: August 02, 2022 at 02:05 PM (#6089504)
I’ve heard speculation that the potential new owners wanted the current owners to move Soto so that the current owners would be the bad guys and the new owner(s) wouldn’t take any of the heat. No idea if there is any truth to that.
   61. Nasty Nate Posted: August 02, 2022 at 02:05 PM (#6089505)
I don't think they regretted the Big Unit Deal on the other end either. Freddy Garcia, Carlos Guillen and John Halama was a nice return for two months of Randy.
True. Although with the gift of hindsight, they should have offered him a 7-year extension at any conceivable AAV he would ask for.
   62. Banta Posted: August 02, 2022 at 02:11 PM (#6089507)
60, that would make sense if the new owner has already been identified, which I have no idea is the case. I would think that there would be multiple potential bidders, but again, I don’t buy and sell baseball teams.
   63. SoSH U at work Posted: August 02, 2022 at 02:17 PM (#6089508)
True. Although with the gift of hindsight, they should have offered him a 7-year extension at any conceivable AAV he would ask for.


If I recall correctly, he wanted out in a big way.

   64. Ron J Posted: August 02, 2022 at 02:22 PM (#6089509)
#63 He did, but that was in reaction to the way the Mariners handled the situation. He felt seriously disrespected, wasn't shy about saying so and that created the typical stories that a contentious negotiation generates.
   65. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: August 02, 2022 at 02:23 PM (#6089510)
Yeah, unless this is all about the next group of owners, I don't understand this trade at all. As noted, there's every reason to believe Soto's value will keep increasing as he reaches 25 years of age. You will have a hard time convincing me that, if the club had instead decided to deal him a year from now, the haul for a 7 WAR player in 2023 with another year remaining on his contact would retrieve less talent than what the Nats got today.
   66. SoSH U at work Posted: August 02, 2022 at 02:27 PM (#6089513)

#63 He did, but that was in reaction to the way the Mariners handled the situation. He felt seriously disrespected, wasn't shy about saying so and that created the typical stories that a contentious negotiation generates.


Ah, so an early back the dumptruck up extension might have worked. I only remembered he was extremely disgruntled when he left. Then again, he wasn't often gruntled.
   67. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 02, 2022 at 02:42 PM (#6089517)
What would be the offer Washington would have been able to make to Soto right now that would have gotten him to sign on the dotted line for the next 8-10 years?
I thought something like ~ $450/13 years, with some bonuses based on MVP votes for the last 4 or 5 years in case Soto ‘over-performs’, would do the trick. Maybe partial inflation indexing if necessary.
   68. Textbook Editor Posted: August 02, 2022 at 02:50 PM (#6089518)
Would the Nats accept 2 months of a slightly used JD Martinez instead? Maybe the Red Sox can get in on this and accept Hosmer if the Padres eat some of what's left on the 3/$39 he has coming from 23-25? He's not great, but honestly he'd be a massive upgrade from what they have and a hedge if Casas struggles in 2023.


Holy hell I was half joking and now it seems like the Red Sox are actually acquiring Hosmer.
   69. Textbook Editor Posted: August 02, 2022 at 02:51 PM (#6089520)
Source: here
   70. AndrewJ Posted: August 02, 2022 at 03:05 PM (#6089525)
47>> A shitty take in the pages of the New York Post? I'll have to lie down for a moment and allow that to sink in...
   71. Darren Posted: August 02, 2022 at 03:13 PM (#6089528)
I would suspect the new owner wanted Soto on the contract that he was recently offered or wanted him gone before acquiring the team (so they're not the bad guys, as suggested above).

Back to my question, can anyone tell me what they would expect to get for Juan Soto in a trade?*



(*If your answer is you simply don't trade him, fine. I disagree sort of, but there's not much to debate.)
   72. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: August 02, 2022 at 03:13 PM (#6089530)
Hosmer to BOS doesn't make sense as related to this deal, unless they're getting back a bad contract to ship to WAS. (I mean, make sense given that he was supposed to be involved in the Soto deal, not that it's going to actually make sense.) Dodgers are surprisingly short on those though. David Price, I suppose, though he doesn't have much contract left...
   73. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: August 02, 2022 at 03:15 PM (#6089531)
what they would expect to get for Juan Soto in a trade?


Another cost-controlled superstar. That's the only thing as valuable as Soto.
   74. Textbook Editor Posted: August 02, 2022 at 03:25 PM (#6089536)
It wasn't reported if Hosmer was in the deal for salary relief or just to clear roster space. If he goes to the Red Sox, it might be the latter (though a straight-up Hosmer for JD Martinez deal might make some sense for the Padres, and for the Red Sox if, say, 2/3 of the rest of Hosmer's contract is being picked up). The Red Sox need some Casas insurance, and I think this year proved a Dalbec/Casas caddy is not tenable in 2023. Hosmer on $5 mil/yr or so isn't a bad pickup, and in Boston would actually be an upgrade at 1B (especially if Casas is not ready in 2023).

The production in RF and 1B has been so, so, so bad in 2022 that Pham and Hosmer actually are massive upgrades if they can fill those spots (and the Red Sox don't have RF options in house and relying on Casas for 1B out of the gate in 2023 is unwise).

Overall I like the move, but unless Devers (at least) is extended, it's kind of deck chairs on the Titanic.
   75. . Posted: August 02, 2022 at 03:26 PM (#6089537)
Sure, if someone bowls you over with a truly elite package of top prospects or young players, you can and should listen. But the idea that you have to move these guys is absurd and a blight on the sport.


If you walk through slowly why that is, eventually you'll get from "all the GMs think essentially alike" to "... and fans can find ways to celebrate and follow and fantasize about prospects that they either used to not be able to, or used to not want to." Part of that is clearly the internet and technology and the prospect rating services, which let those of a certain bent -- prospect perverts or otherwise -- follow these guys daily. When a trade for a bunch of prospects is made now, everybody knows who they are.(*) There's an efficiency and a homogeneity to the whole thing that's a bit off-putting to say the least.

This thing could certainly be measured, and I'd say net-net the prospects in the internet era are overvalued, perhaps even dramatically. In part that's the natural falling for the promise of youth -- which isn't a terrible thing.

(*) As a somewhat related aside, entertainment life will of course never be like this again, but I still remember as a little kid Mark Fidrych's first start on a Saturday afternoon on local TV and having no idea who he even was and then like a month later he was a massive national sensation in the way we really don't do sensations anymore because it's not possible because we already know the guys way before they could be sensations. Fernando was kind of the same way five years later with the Dodgers.
   76. Banta Posted: August 02, 2022 at 03:28 PM (#6089538)
Addressing 71 and 73, it’s probably not reasonable to expect another cost-controlled superstar (then don’t trade him I guess, no other issues considered). I already said that I would want a near ML ready prospect who could approximate at least half of Soto (3 to 4 WAR player). I’m not sure that either Gore or Abrams are that, maybe Abrams is closer. I’d probably want a deal where the two of them are substituted for a player that looks like they have a higher ceiling. The Nats obviously like them better and wanted quantity over quality. It’s not completely unreasonable, but I would want to be damn sure this is the best deal I can get because on the face of it, there’s no rush to pull the trigger here. Which again leads me back to there must be more to this than Soto rejecting their contract extension and they feel that they can’t resign him.
   77. bobm Posted: August 02, 2022 at 03:29 PM (#6089541)
[70] A shitty take in the pages of the New York Post? I'll have to lie down for a moment and allow that to sink in...

I quoted it only because the author, Mr. Heyman aka Lord Haw Haw, is the known mouthpiece for Soto's agent, Scott Boras.
   78. . Posted: August 02, 2022 at 03:34 PM (#6089544)
Fans have also been conditioned to overrate, probably vastly, the likelihood of a successful "rebuild." And now with 12 teams in the playoffs every year, intentionally subjecting your organization to one is pretty much ludicrous.

Much of the conditioning has come from tight-fisted ownership and their media mouthpieces.
   79. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 02, 2022 at 03:47 PM (#6089547)

Another cost-controlled superstar. That's the only thing as valuable as Soto.


Some one like Wander Franco would be the centerpiece of a reasonable deal. If the Rays were in win now mode, and they wanted to accelerate there value, Franco and a few lottery tickets would be fair.
   80. Banta Posted: August 02, 2022 at 03:52 PM (#6089550)
78, I think that’s generally right. Although some teams (cough Angels cough) make it look hard, if you have a couple great players and can manage to fill out the rest of your starters with averagish players, you should be competitive in today’s MLB.

However, the Nationals have big money locked into guys that are hurt or ineffective and as a result, they are absolutely nowhere , especially with starting pitching. This trade seems to give them a piece, but probably not an ace. Looking through their roster, it’s hard to see how they could be competitive within a couple years, even keeping Soto, but you never know. If they were certain he wasn’t going to be able to be resigned, this move does make some sense. Factor in the ownership uncertainty and you do have the necessary elements for why a trade like this could be justifiable.

The problem is you still want a guy who is at least Soto-lite, as it’s incredibly hard to build a team around just above-averagish players. No matter how much benefit of the doubt I want to give the Nationals, it still comes back to if you have a Soto, you do everything in your power to keep him and barring that, you hold out for a massive return, not one that looks merely acceptable. Guys like him are the hard part and not usually available on the open market.
   81. . Posted: August 02, 2022 at 03:58 PM (#6089555)
The San Francisco Giants won 107 games last year.

Here's the thing. Everyone wants the "success cycle" to be the result of careful, intelligent planning, but it almost never is and almost never can be.(*) If you're struggling a bit, you just have to make marginal improvements, stay viable, and hope for things to break your way. Modern baseball commentary and "analysis" isn't comfortable with that -- it yearns for certainty and predictability (**) and having a "direction" -- but that's really neither here nor there.

(*) Especially given the multi-round playoff crapshoot.

(**) The typical armchair GM type positively fetishizes the idea of baseball as applied intelligence and that faction has, unfortunately, won the day.
   82. Bourbon Samurai stays in the fight Posted: August 02, 2022 at 04:10 PM (#6089560)
Keith Law in the Athletic on the return:

I’m not sure who could have topped this package, which, if you’re talking reasonable expectations, includes a potential No. 1 or No. 2 starter, three position players with legitimate All-Star upside, and an 18-year-old starter who also has No. 1 or No. 2 upside but is much farther from the majors. This is Herschel Walker to the Vikings stuff. You can rebuild a whole franchise if a trade like this works out. The Nats did extremely well here, even acknowledging that there’s risk in multiple parts of the deal – Gore’s elbow and previous history of mechanical problems, Wood’s sheer size, Susana’s youth, Abrams perhaps never getting the strength he needs. Hassell is the lowest-risk player in the deal, and it’s improbable that he turns into something less than a solid regular, with a good chance he’s a consistent 3-4 WAR player for a decade and some possibility he’s more. The rumors that the Nats’ asking price for Soto was exorbitant were, apparently, true. Good for them for holding to it.
   83. NaOH Posted: August 02, 2022 at 04:11 PM (#6089562)
However, the Nationals have big money locked into guys that are hurt or ineffective....



2022: $28.5M
2023: $23.5M
2024: $18.5M
2025: $25M
2026: $15M
2027: $41.9M
2028: $41.9M
2029: $26.6M

That's big money locked into deferrals, just over $191M after this season. A gift for the new owners, if you will.
   84. Banta Posted: August 02, 2022 at 04:13 PM (#6089563)
Those “reasonable expectations” sound like the best-case scenario to me, but I’m also an idiot.
   85. Darren Posted: August 02, 2022 at 04:15 PM (#6089566)
I agree with Law for once!
   86. McCoy Posted: August 02, 2022 at 04:31 PM (#6089576)
Re 81. There are plenty of teams that consistently win year in and year out and there are plenty of teams that have good plans that work out. That some teams have crappy plans or that some good plans don't oan out doesn't prove that it's all largely random and you just have to hope for a lucky break.
   87. McCoy Posted: August 02, 2022 at 04:34 PM (#6089577)
Having said that the "success cycle" was a writer's concept and wasn't something adopted by baseball and has proven largely false.
   88. Textbook Editor Posted: August 02, 2022 at 04:35 PM (#6089579)
#83--I'm getting forgetful in my old age: Does all that deferred $ count toward the luxury tax threshold or not? (If so, yikes.)
   89. NaOH Posted: August 02, 2022 at 05:00 PM (#6089590)
#83--I'm getting forgetful in my old age: Does all that deferred $ count toward the luxury tax threshold or not? (If so, yikes.)


The deferrals do not count toward a team's CBT calculation in the years the deferrals are paid. So, for example, all the CBT contributions of Strasburg will be made during his contract years (2020–2026) even though the team will be paying him until 2029.
   90. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 02, 2022 at 05:23 PM (#6089601)

They could keep Soto and sign every good FA this offseason and next and still wouldn't be able to field a contender in 2024. They aren't winning with or without Soto before 2025,


Well, they'll win more with him than without him for sure.

   91. Walt Davis Posted: August 02, 2022 at 05:32 PM (#6089604)
I think everybody is right -- this is both a bad trade for the Nats while also being at least in the neighborhood of the best they could do. In the abstract, you deal him for two "top prospects" but in reality there's rarely a single team that has two top prospects. #11, #41, #66 and a currently healthy (as far as we know) McKenzie Gore with Abrams and Gore being ML-ready (as they're ever gonna be) is a great prospect package and not one that can be easily beaten. If the Pads package isn't enough (and I don't think it is really), that's just another way of saying that Soto shouldn't/can't be traded -- a position of "I'd only do it with at least 2 top 10 prospects and more in the deal" would nearly always mean there is no team out there that can meet your demand even if they wanted to. And even those occasions where a team has 2 top 10 prospects, that's probably a team that's starting to emerge from their rebuilding cycle but isn't yet ready to add a superstar in a 2-year push for the WS.

I agree the Nats should have waited for the off-season. If I had been talking to the Ms, I'd have asked for Julio Rodriguez and the Ms would reject that out of hand if for no other reason than that subtracting Rodriguez for Aug/Sept and the next two years greatly reduces the value of adding Soto (who you have to pay a lot). I'm pretty certain they'd still reject it immediately even if offered in the offseason but maybe the offseason Astros would consider including Jeremy Pena. Anyway, the chance of getting an established good MLer with 5 years of control left is a lot easier to do in the offseason than mid-season.

On the bright side for Nats fans, the acquisition of Abrams and Gore suggests the Nats are not looking for a long-run rebuild. Not the same thing I know but when the Cubs traded Bryant et al last year, they got back mostly a bunch of 18-20 yos ... they might turn out excellent but we're not likely to see most of them before 2025 and they probably won't be good until 2027. I don't see how the Nats can expect to get there quickly but maybe these are seen as pieces the new owners can spend around to at least not suck for the next 5 years.

But let's end on the sour, 21st century note. These decisions are always about money. The Nats know they can never get fair baseball value for Soto. They know as somebody above pointed out that there's a good chance none of these players will have a career WAR greater than the 12-15 that Soto's likely to produce over the next 2+ years. They know that even if they win this trade in WAR terms, even if they win it easily at say 30 WAR to 12 WAR, that 30 WAR will have been spread around 15+ player-service-years which just isn't that valuable.

Transport the Nats to the 2015-16 offseason. The Cub call so you ask for Bryant and Russell. That's a non-starter, they're not letting Bryant go. They offer Schwarber and Baez and Happ (and some bits). You settle on Schwarber, Russell and Happ. Scwarber's had a big debut, Russell's a top defender and a promsing hitter for a SS, Happ's a 1st-rounder, you've got 6 years of control on all 3.

Schwarber 8 WAR
Russell 8.5 WAR
Happ 9 WAR and counting
Baez 24 WAR

Now you're wishing you hadn't insisted on Russell over Baez. If it included Baez, that would have been a pretty darn good deal getting 41 WAR in return for 2 seasons of Soto but it's still spread across 18+ service years so it's not amazing or anything. Plus you're the Nats, a wealthy team. This trade from the Nats' perspective would have been essentially Soto for Baez because they can buy Schwarbers and Happs easily enough (as they showed when they bought Schwarber last year). Not paying Soto in 2016-17 would have cleared some sizable money, maybe the hypothetical Nats turn that into good value elsewhere. (The hypothetical Cubs don't sign Heyward, cruise to the 2016 title with Baez at SS and Soto in LF and repeat in 2017, making us Cub fans even more obnoxious.)

EDIT: Hmmm ... all that and I'm not sure it's clear that I think the Nats should have just paid the man. But given they decided not to ...
   92. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 02, 2022 at 06:05 PM (#6089612)
It doesnt really make sense on so many levels. The idea that the new owners dont want to be the bad guys. I just cant imagine that's a factor. They are presumably about to spend 2.5-3 Billion on a purchase. They live in gated communities and are chauffered to work. They might get booed on opening day when they take the mic or the radio like that guy in Cinci did. But really, why would anyone making billion dollar calculations care about what some kid in the bleachers thinks? they dont this cant be right. But its a more creative explanation than I can come up with so A for effort there.

Also it seems reasonable to think that a deal for a cost controlled Soto could be done in the off season. With much more options for rebuilding or getting cash or dumping salary. Presumably the new owners would have more options to do that. That is if the idea is that the new owners have some say in this. I doubt it, this seems like something going on in the financial affairs of the Lerner family. is there some power struggle going on there?

WTF is Bell part of the deal? The BAL just traded Mancini for two, long shot lottery picks. Bell is same age and clearly better and might even be able to play the field. He may have turned a corner He's been a 3 WAR player before. He may remain there for a couple years. They are making him a throw in, when his stock is at an all time high. Could they have not sent Bell to HOU for better lottery picks than BAL got? I mean if rebuilding is your goal.

Speaking of which. Why not throw Strasburg in the deal and take back $25M of salary. That clears $10M/yr off the books. I mean that's reasonable. You're getting 1.3 seasons of a 7 WAR player at some bargain rate. It's worth paying $10M year in addition to Soto's salary just to have Soto. So if clearing salary is your goal then...?

"Hassell is the lowest-risk player in the deal, and it’s improbable that he turns into something less than a solid regular, with a good chance he’s a consistent 3-4 WAR player for a decade and some possibility he’s more. "

Ha ha. Im not an expert but i am quite sure this is completely blowin smoke up someone's arse. I'll wait for walt to run the number on that one.
   93. Banta Posted: August 02, 2022 at 06:12 PM (#6089615)
WTF is Bell part of the deal? The BAL just traded Mancini for two, long shot lottery picks. Bell is same age and clearly better and might even be able to play the field. He may have turned a corner He's been a 3 WAR player before. He may remain there for a couple years. They are making him a throw in, when his stock is at an all time high. Could they have not sent Bell to HOU for better lottery picks than BAL got? I mean if rebuilding is your goal.


Thank you, it’s amazing to me that this part hasn’t been pointed out more. Bell has value, especially as a deadline deal bat. It’s very strange he had to be thrown in to get that sort of return for Soto. Again, this whole thing just feels like a “must do” move when on the face of it, there should have been no rush.
   94. ReggieThomasLives Posted: August 02, 2022 at 06:13 PM (#6089617)
This can never be simple arithmetic, adding X WAR for Y dollars vs. keeping Z war for A dollars.

If you sign Soto to a $440M contract it will certainly include an opt-out and no-trade. Which gives you a range of outcomes

1) Most of the time he opts out and you lose him after 4 or 5 years. This adds a couple years of an elite player, but you lose him for nothing.
2) Some of the time he doesn't opt out
a) Because his performance wasn't good enough to confidently get more money in an inflationary environment. Which means he's at least somewhat disappointing.
b) Because of catastrophic decline/injury

2b) is probably a pretty rare event, but 2a) isn't.

But the point of keeping Soto isn't to keep him, it's to win games and make the playoffs. Lets say you pay him $35M a year, how do you still build a team around him when you start every year with this much already spent:
2023: $120M including Soto, deferrals and dead money to Corbin, Strasburg and Cruz
2024: $99M including Soto, deferrals, buyouts and dead money to Corbin, Strasburg.
2025: $83M including Soto, deferrals and dead money to Strasburg

That seems really hard. I am not qualified to comment on what they got in return for Soto in this trade, but it sure seems like they needed to trade Soto and start over. By 2025 things will start to get much easier even with the heavier deferrals still on the way.
   95. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 02, 2022 at 06:25 PM (#6089628)
If it included Baez, that would have been a pretty darn good deal getting 41 WAR in return for 2 seasons of Soto but it's still spread across 18+ service years so it's not amazing or anything


Its kind of, sort of similar to the Texeira deal that TomN cited upthread.

I didnt do total career value as you did, but instead the next 5 seasons for each player involved. (some of them still hadnt made the majors when they were traded)

Texeira: 25 WAR, vs:

Andrus 15 WAR
Feliz 7 WAR
Harrison 9 WAR
Saltamacchia 1.5 WAR

So 32 WAR for 25 wAR. It's not Brock for Broglio or anything like that. But it's very good return. like I said I looked at it 5 years down the road, your mileage may vary.

****

If youre gonna throw in Bell at least make them take Stras for $10. So Bell and Soto is like 10 WAR/year for part of two years, for cost of (17 + 10 + 10) or $37M and a lottery ticket in Strasbg. That's still a good deal.
   96. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 02, 2022 at 06:33 PM (#6089636)
What was St. Lou offering? I know I read some stories but I forget what players. Their execs even made a trip here to WDC. Were those lottery picks any better?
   97. McCoy Posted: August 02, 2022 at 06:47 PM (#6089641)
Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers win every year and spend a ton doing it.
   98. Zach Posted: August 02, 2022 at 07:02 PM (#6089649)
But the point of keeping Soto isn't to keep him,

No, the point of keeping a great player is definitely to keep him! Sometimes those guys play ballgames between contract negotiations.
   99. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 02, 2022 at 07:09 PM (#6089655)
No, the point of keeping a great player is definitely to keep him! Sometimes those guys play ballgames between contract negotiations.

Exactly, were Ted Williams, Ernie Banks, and Tony Gwynn's careers wasted b/c their teams didn't win a World Series?

But the point of keeping Soto isn't to keep him, it's to win games and make the playoffs. Lets say you pay him $35M a year, how do you still build a team around him when you start every year with this much already spent:
2023: $120M including Soto, deferrals and dead money to Corbin, Strasburg and Cruz
2024: $99M including Soto, deferrals, buyouts and dead money to Corbin, Strasburg.
2025: $83M including Soto, deferrals and dead money to Strasburg


A well run team should have defeased the deferred money with assets already. If they didn't, it should be deducted from the price of the acquisition. Bad deals signed by the previous ownership should be fully reflected in the sale price, and should have no impact on the new owners' ability to field a team.
   100. ReggieThomasLives Posted: August 02, 2022 at 08:26 PM (#6089687)
Does the MLB allow the new owners pay off the deferred salaries as part of the purchase, or force the sellers to assume them?. If already counted against salary cap I would think salary cap rules should allow this? And if so, selling team without Soto seems like a terrible decision.

It’s incredible to me that the MLB allowed the Nationals to defer so much salary in the first place. If the Nats aren’t sold or new owner can’t clean this up as part of purchase it seems like a huge weight around the neck of future teams.
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