He is a Padre. The Washington Nationals traded the megastar for a treasure trove of top prospects.

What does this mean for the Padres and the rest of baseball this season and beyond? Has there ever been a trade in the middle of the year like this?

The biggest questions were answered by the sports experts.

Is this the biggest trade deadline deal ever?

Imagine Mike Trout being traded in the middle of the year. In 1993. In 1982. Willie Mays was born in the year 1954. Wait, there it is. You might have to go back to the early part of the 20th century, when Babe Ruth was sold to the Yankees, in order to find a suitable comp to the Nationals trading a young man. When they're both good and young, players aren't traded. This is not the same as the previous one.

Alden is correct that there has never been a deadline trade with a young star. He's the first player under the age of 23 to be traded in a season when he was an All-Star. He's the best hitter in the game, even though he hasn't been as good this year. The trade of Tom Seaver from the Mets to the Reds in 1977 is hard to top.

The Royals traded for Stan Belinda in 2003 was bigger. It might be possible. This is the biggest trade deadline deal of all time. There is a potential all-time great in Soto changing teams and doing so before he hits his peak. That is monumental alone. He would end up being a top-50 all-time player. I don't believe anyone on that list changed teams before they were 30. There are players going to the Nationals who have a chance to be really good. Also there is Josh Bell. I think there's never been an in-season deal like this before.

This is one of the largest trades in baseball history. Alex Rodriguez went from the Rangers to the Yankees. With the fact that he's 23, and the fact that he's one of the greatest players in the game, you can combine that with the fact that he's relatively unprecedented in terms of offensive production. Similar to Shohei Ohtani, this trade doesn't have much of a comp.

Are the Padres the National League's new team to beat?

The top tier of teams had been defined prior to this trade. It was the Yankees, Dodgers, Astros, Mets, Braves, and so forth. The Padres have risen above the second tier, which was a bit murky. The Padres are just as good as any other club in the highest tier. It's not about whether they can make the World Series, it's about whether they can win it. Their pitchers were already championship- caliber. They will have their offense as well when Fernando Tatis Jr. comes back.

Jesse Rogers isn't sure. This was definitely a move to compete with the Dodgers over the next few years. If L.A. wasn't such a beast, Padres GM A.J. Preller wouldn't have given up so much of his farm system. The Padres were not good enough to beat the Dodgers. They have a chance to win. Unless Los Angeles collapses, it won't happen during the regular season. The two teams, separated by just one hundred miles, will be fighting for the top spot in the NL West for a long time.

The Padres are on track to win 90 games and have a run differential of 87 wins. In the playoffs, they are a team that will make the brackets. You add a player with an All-Star season, two top 10 overall players, and a top five closer in Josh Hader. You don't give up anyone who is likely to make a difference on your stretch run. They haven't caught the Dodgers, but they have put themselves in a good position.

The Padres won the World Series in part because I got caught up in the hype of their off-season. Even though I have some trust issues, the San Diego team looked like a playoff squad even before the return of Tatis.

What does this deal mean for their NL West-rival Dodgers?

The Padres were shocked to see Max Scherzer slip from their fingers and land with the Dodgers. They were shocked to see that they were lumped together in the same deal. Losing out on Scherzer was one of the reasons why the Padres fell. The Dodgers are in for a fight now that they've landed the greatest trade chip of all time. Their 12-game lead in the division is too large for the Padres to overcome, and they will probably meet in the playoffs. The Padres' group is deeper and better than the Dodgers'. Though the Dodgers' offense is probably even scarier, the Padres will have three players at the top of their lineup.

Los Angeles will push hard to add in the off-season to keep its hold on the title. If the teams face off in the playoffs, the deal definitely has the Dodgers' attention. Los Angeles may want to stack up on left-handed pitchers for the foreseeable future. He should be in L.A. if there is a Soto specialist out there.

I think this will make the Dodgers more focused on whether or not they have the right mix at the back of theirReliever The talent gap between L.A. and the rest of the NL has narrowed over the last two days. If there is a Dodgers-Padres playoff game, L.A. needs to make sure they have the right pitcher in the late-innings. When Hader is on the other side, they need to make sure they have the right person to close it out.

Is Soto/Tatis/Machado the most exciting trio in baseball?

The Dodgers' trio of Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Turner reside in the same division. That is what makes this so enjoyable. This season, he could win an award. Ted Williams may be the greatest pure hitter of all time. He might be the most exciting player in the sport when he's fully healthy. The Padres do not have the best offense in the majors. Only five teams have a lower percentage of hits. There is a huge boost to come from Bell near the middle and the top. They don't need much more with the pitchers.

Which stars will go somewhere else? Which contender will get the most attention? As the deadline looms, here's our latest intel.

There is a trade deadline tracker.

Every deal has a grade.

Rogers thinks that there's good company in the Yankees' players. With the game on the line, which duo of righties would you prefer? I'm going to take my chances with Machado.

They're the best trio in baseball. Both of them have turned 24. They are projected to be the top two players in baseball in the next three years. Right now, he is a candidate for the most valuable player award. This could be one of the most dynamic power trios we have ever seen. It's exciting? That seems like it would be fun. If you're a Dodgers fan, you won't get much.

I will still go with Ken, Alex, and Edgar. It was 25 years ago, but that was one hell of a group. The leader of the group is 40- homer Jay Buhner.

Lee said yes. It's more than just that they are three stars in their primes, but also three stars with the personality of the other two. Three guys who can tear the cover off the ball are not the only ones who can bring young fans into the sport.

Will Soto sign long-term with San Diego?

This is where it gets a bit more difficult. If he succeeds in becoming the first $500 million baseball player, he'll be the richest baseball player of all time. He could make a lot of money. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Padres would owe Tatis $306 million over 10 years and Machado $120 million over four years, as well as $60 million over three years for starting pitcher Joe Musgrove. Is it possible for another superstar to be paid even higher than that? It's probably not. Preller flips him going into his free agent year to rebuild the farm system he stripped to get him, after he mashes for them through two Octobers. Preller is so good at that thing.

Rogers doesn't see it, but no one can say for certain. The Yankees and Dodgers have to be involved. If the Padres don't compete in 2024, Preller can revisit an extension at that time. There is a good chance that a Scott Boras client will get free agency. This should be the same regardless of how young Soto is. No team in the game can cry poor if San Diego can afford both of them for a long time.

It's difficult to forget the image of Soto relaxing with his agent behind the screen at Dodger Stadium during the playoffs. The fans chanted "Fut-ure Dod-ger!" during All-Star week. This is the history of baseball over the past 50 years. The best players go to the big markets. Correct, we're talking about half a billion dollars. He's going to end up with the Dodgers. I hope this is going to be fun. I like the idea that this generation's Ted Williams will end up in the hometown of the villain. I'm looking forward to the first photo shoot at Lane Field.

San Diego's future is hard to imagine without knowing what it will take to sign Soto. I think the Padres will do everything they can to lock him up early because he is likely to be looking for a half billion dollar deal. I'm waiting for free agency if I'm Soto. His desire to find the perfect combination of team and salary should be reinforced by this trade.