The Padres went all in at Tuesday’s Major League Baseball trade deadline, acquiring star outfielder Juan Soto and serving notice that they are legitimate World Series contenders.
Then the Padres went out and trounced the do-nothing Rockies 13-5 at Petco Park in the first game of a doubleheader, sending Colorado to its ninth loss in 12 games since the All-Star break.
The Rockies got home runs from Brendan Rodgers and Randal Grichuk off starter Yu Darvish to take an early 3-0 lead, but the Padres pounded out 19 hits off four ineffective Colorado pitchers.
Off the field, Colorado made news as the only team to not make a single trade at the deadline.
The Rockies have four players who are scheduled to become free agents at the end of the season: starting shortstop Jose Iglesias, starting pitcher Chad Kuhl and relievers Alex Colome and Carlos Estevez. If they walk away from Colorado, the Rockies will get nothing for them, not even minor-league prospects.
The Padres, meanwhile, put all of their chips on the table, acquiring the 23-year-old Soto from the Nationals as part of a mega-deal. The Padres also landed Nationals first baseman Josh Bell.
Soto, who’s viewed as a generational talent and one of the best young hitters in baseball history, was a key player in the Nationals’ 2019 World Series title. In 2020, he hit .351 to win the National League batting title.
The trade cost the Padres a bundle. They sent rookie left-hander MacKenzie Gore, first baseman/DH Luke Voit and prospects James Wood, C.J. Abrams, Robert Hassell III and Jarlin Susana to Washington.
Voit was a late addition to the deal after Padres veteran first baseman Erick Hosmer wouldn’t waive a no-trade clause in his contract. Hosmer ended up being traded to Boston.
A.J. Preller, San Diego’s wheeler-dealer general manager, also traded for Cincinnati infielder Brandon Drury, who’s hit already hit a career-high 20 homers this season. On Monday, the Padres traded for Milwaukee closer Josh Hader.
Soto is hitting just .246 this season, a far cry from his .291 career average, but he leads the majors in walks and he’s the only active player to have more walks than strikeouts in his career.
Plus, Soto’s hit 21 homers this season, tied for eighth in the NL. As the trade rumors heated up, Soto got sizzling hot, slashing .315/.495/.616 with six home runs in July.
“The atmosphere here is they want to win, and not just go to the playoffs but win a World Series,” Hader told reporters in San Diego. “That’s a contagious atmosphere to be a part of.”
This story will be updated