The Padres have won the Juan Soto sweepstakes.
The Nationals moved on from the superstar outfielder hours before the clock struck 6 p.m. ET on the MLB trade deadline, getting a package of prospects and a few major leaguers that should soften the blow of moving on from a perennial MVP contender.
Of course, trading a superstar talent like Soto raises some questions. More than a few.
Nationals GM Mike Rizzo detailed the process and tried to answer those questions a bit on Tuesday:
It was kind of a limited group. It had to be a team that needed a piece, it had to be a team that was obviously in contention, it had to be a team that had the personnel we needed to get back in the trade.
It began a couple of days ago, and we cast a wide net. As things do, as we narrowed things down closer to last night, we finally got to a handful of teams that were actually in it, and at the end, when our demands stayed consistent, we kind of eliminated the teams. We got to a small number of teams, we got down to two, and then when the Padres reached the tall threshold we had for this trade, we decided to make the trade.
“It was a deal that we had to get the right deal or we weren’t going to do the deal, and one team exceeded it,” Rizzo said.
Rizzo made it a point to wear his 2019 World Series ring to the press conference as a reminder of “what we (the Nationals) did in the past and what we’re going to do in the future.”
The Dodgers were the other team reportedly in on Soto, but their NL West rival emerged victorious in the running.
The Padres ultimately landed Soto by parting with a trio of their top prospects, as well as MacKenzie Gore and Luke Voit in the deal. In return, they got Soto and first baseman Josh Bell, who is a free agent following the season.
As part of a busy trade deadline, they also shipped off first baseman Eric Hosmer, who went to the Red Sox.
Well, at least Rizzo has his ring to remind him of better, more Soto-filled times.