WASHINGTON, D.C. — Four hours before the 6 p.m. trade deadline on Tuesday, priest Added right fielder Juan Sotofirst baseman Josh Bell– And about two dozen San Diego fans national‘ club.
Soto, 23, spent an hour exchanging tears and goodbyes with members of the only organization he knows of, the one he helped win the title in 2019 and the one that announced two months ago that it would not trade him. One after another delivered the same message: Go win the World Series.
Catcher Tres Barrera was drafted a year after Soto signed from the Dominican Republic as a 16-year-old and translated for him at the restaurant until Soto taught himself English, telling him he “won another.” a ring”.
right leaning Eric FederThe 19-year-old Soto, who has not yet grown into his own body and is starting to learn how powerful he is, chuckled: “Go chase the ring.” He added: “If I throw the ball at you, please don’t hit me hard. Singles , no home runs.”
Manager Davey Martinez, who spent weeks imagining life without the prodigy he considered “my son,” told him, “You go there and you’ll make that team cater to you.”
They were all crushed to see Soto leave. They are also happy to see him in important games.
Fans of the sport should too. It’s funny to see a superstar wear a uniform throughout his career.but what’s going on Mike Trouthe spent 12 years with Angeland just been diagnosed with a rare spinal injury?
The rest of the nation understands this. Washington hasn’t recorded a winning season since challenging reality to sprint to the 2019 World Series title. Entering the season with a 23rd farm system, According to MLB.com. The team is for sale. Soto, who can become a free agent after 24 seasons, turned down a 15-year extension worth $440 million last month.
So, about six weeks after GM Mike Rizzo Tell WJFK radio said he would not trade Soto and he changed his mind.
“We do feel like we can’t extend his time,” Rizzo said Tuesday, his voice sometimes loud. “And we feel that at this point, with two and a half years left, Juan Soto can play in three playoff games, and he will never be more valuable than he is today.”
He said Rizzo wore his 2019 World Series ring at the press conference to remind people “what [the Nationals] What we have done in the past, what will we do in the future. ”
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That day must be years away.Nationals get shortstop CJ Abrams, southpaw MacKenzie Gore, first baseman Luke Voight And three top prospects, regarded by the industry as extremely strong returns. But on Tuesday, Martinez joked that he wasn’t sure he could put together a team.
Meanwhile, Soto and Bell will join a team, According to FanGraphs, with an 86 percent chance of making the playoffs.That number has to improve on Tuesday, when the Padres also get a solid utility man Brandon Drury from Red Army and ditched the first baseman Eric Hosmer arrive red sox, a day after getting closer Josh Hader from the Brewers.This Dodgers Still a landslide to win the division, San Diego’s minor league team may need to recruit fans from the stands, but the Padres should be fun.
Soto should too. He seems to thrive when it matters most.After four innings astronaut Soto did the same when third baseman Alex Bregman hit a home run and took the bat to first base in Game 6 of the 2019 World Series. After that, he smiled. “It’s so cool. I want to do that too,” Soto said. “That’s what I thought when I saw it. I had a chance to do the same.”
He recently eliminated the crotch grab from his post-pitch dance, but the gesture is still enough to be his signature, and he now wears a diamond-encrusted Soto Shuffle necklace. There are few such opportunities in Washington lately. This time a year ago, the Nationals traded right-hander Max Scherzer and shortstop Trea Turner to the Dodgers.That October, with Washington long out of the game, Soto appeared in a wild-card game at Dodger Stadium wearing a Turner Nationals jersey and cheering for Los Angeles.
His performance is more telling. He hit 119 home runs in five seasons and has a career OPS+ of 160. Only four players had better seasons at age 23: Ted Williams (190), Tycob (171), Trout (169) and Albert Pujols (165). The 20 players on the Futures Game roster are older than him.
“His game is a Hall of Famer,” reliever Sean Doolittle said. “Like, he’s not compensated. He’s a whole [different] grade. I feel lucky to have been his teammate for a few years. Like, he’s so good. I’m lucky to be able to watch him play every day. “
But the past few weeks have worn on Soto.back sports report Soto rejects extension offer, relievers Sean Doolittle “You can see him kind of carrying it around,” says Soto, who usually storms into the clubhouse and chats beamingly with anyone in sight. But that day, Doolittle said, Soto sat deadpan in front of his locker. DH Nelson Cruz Said Soto began wondering what to do with the house he bought in Washington. Barrera said he looked tired. Teammates said that while they were happy that Soto was able to join the contenders, they were happier that he stopped thinking about where he would live.
Sometimes people around Soto speak as if he were dead. “The hardest thing for Juan was that he was so young,” Martinez said.
Tuesday, when the team prepares to face metropolis. Soto and Bell said goodbye around 1pm and went home to pack. The clubhouse attendant packs the luggage. “You’re too late,” said center fielder Victor Robles when the locker room opened to reporters shortly after 3 p.m. “They’re gone.”
In fact, only Soto’s portrait remains, on a banner staring at the midfield, on a mural celebrating a 2019 World Series victory in the clubhouse hallway, and a Star Wars-themed JUAN SOLO shaking his head in a teammate’s locker on the doll. His former teammates will see him in person again 10 days later, when the Nationals host the Padres and a week later, they will visit Petko Park again. After that, they will have to buy tickets for the October game.
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