The Los Angeles Dodgers "made a solid effort" to land star outfielder Juan Soto before the Washington Nationals eventually dealt the two-time All-Star to the San Diego Padres prior to Tuesday's MLB trade deadline, according to Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network and NBC Sports reported earlier Tuesday that the Padres, Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals were the three finalists for Soto, who has posted an .894 OPS with 21 home runs and 46 RBI this year.
Jon Morosi @jonmorosi
In the Juan Soto sweepstakes, sources say 3 finalists remain -- the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Padres?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Padres</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/STLCards?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#STLCards</a>, and <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Dodgers?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Dodgers</a>. <br><br>The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BlueJays?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BlueJays</a> inquired in July but are not actively discussing Soto with the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Nats?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Nats</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/MLBNetwork?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MLBNetwork</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Sportsnet?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Sportsnet</a>
San Diego eventually landed Soto and first baseman Josh Bell for a package of six MLB players and prospects:
L.A. may have missed out on Soto, but the 69-33 Dodgers still own MLB's best record and sit 12 games ahead of San Diego in the NL West.
However, San Diego is clearly going for it all based on its key deadline moves. In addition to Soto and Bell, the Padres acquired third baseman/utility player Brandon Drury (20 homers, 59 RBI, .855 OPS) from the Cincinnati Reds and four-time All-Star relief pitcher Josh Hader from the Milwaukee Brewers.
Although the division may be out of reach, the Padres are well-positioned to cruise into a wild-card spot, and they could easily be a formidable foe for L.A. if they meet in the postseason.
The Dodgers were content to largely stand pat at the deadline, although they did make a couple of notable moves by acquiring reliever Chris Martin from the Chicago Cubs and outfielder Joey Gallo from the New York Yankees.
Still, the Dodgers have a loaded roster featuring six All-Stars, including Mookie Betts and Clayton Kershaw. Adding Soto would have further solidified them as a World Series favorite, but that likely would have led to them parting with some elite prospects, including their No. 1 minor leaguer, Diego Cartaya.
For now, L.A. is looking to stay hot in the dog days of summer. The Dodgers, who have won five of their last six, will play the second contest of a four-game road series against the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday evening.