The San Diego Padres pulled it off.
ESPN's Jeff Passan reported the Padres are acquiring Juan Soto and Josh Bell from the Washington Nationals.
Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
The package going back to Washington for Juan Soto and Josh Bell, sources tell ESPN:<br><br>- LHP MacKenzie Gore<br>- OF Robert Hassell III<br>- SS C.J. Abrams<br>- OF James Wood<br>- RHP Jarlin Susana<br>- one more major league player<br><br>That's the only holdup right now to the agreed-upon deal.
Joel Sherman and Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported Eric Hosmer will be heading to Washington as well.
Depending on whether they re-sign Soto, who's due to be a free agent in 2025, the Pads might have two of MLB's brightest talents for the foreseeable future as he joins Fernando Tatis Jr. Manny Machado is performing at an MVP-type level as well.
San Diego's lineup once Tatis returns is going to be fearsome.
Marly Rivera @MarlyRiveraESPN
When I chatted with <a href="https://twitter.com/tatis_jr?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@tatis_jr</a> in New York just recently, we talked extensively about what it would mean to have the Dominican 1-2-3 punch in San Diego with Soto/Machado/Tatis Jr… well… well…<br><br>🇩🇴<br>🇩🇴<br>🇩🇴<br><br>Padres previewing the DR 2023 team <a href="https://twitter.com/jonmorosi?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@jonmorosi</a>!
On the other side, the reaction is understandably far different.
Getting a player of equal value to Soto is almost impossible in any scenario. The fact he's under team control for two more years and still only 23 adds to the feeling that Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo whiffed.
Every <a href="https://twitter.com/Padres?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Padres</a> fan: YES!!<br>Every <a href="https://twitter.com/MLB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MLB</a> Analyst: WOW- the Padres did it!<br>Every <a href="https://twitter.com/Nationals?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Nationals</a> fan: That sucks.<br><br>There is NO reality where this worked out good for the Nationals.<br><br>Rizzo should be run out of town. Period.
MacKenzie Gore and C.J. Abrams were highly touted prospects prior to making their MLB debuts. Robert Hassell III is the No. 1 player in San Diego's farm system in the eyes of MLB.com, and James Wood follows closely behind at No. 3.
Rizzo might wind up having the last laugh because it will be a few years before the full return for Washington becomes clear.
Still, fans are right to question whether continuing to employ a generational talent who's yet to hit his prime was still a better outcome than banking on an incoming crop of young players to guide the organization forward.