MLB News

Trading away Juan Soto brings an end to Nationals’ greatest era

Los Angeles Dodgers' Trea Turner, left, and Washington Nationals' Juan Soto joke around after the end of the top of the seventh inning of a baseball game Monday, July 25, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner, left, and Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto joke around during a game on July 25 at Dodger Stadium. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Trea Turner took some groundballs on the field at Oracle Park, walked over to a group of children to sign autographs, and headed into the visitors’ clubhouse to text a good friend Tuesday before first pitch against the San Francisco Giants.

The Dodgers shortstop hadn’t reached out to Juan Soto since the San Diego Padres received the 23-year-old superstar outfielder from the Washington Nationals in the morning.

The two All-Stars were teammates in Washington for four seasons. They won a World Series in 2019. They envisioned playing together for years — first in Washington and then, over the last couple of weeks, maybe in Los Angeles as Dodgers starting Wednesday.

But the Padres outbid the Dodgers so Soto is a division rival instead.

“They did it,” Turner said. “Good for him. I think the idea is just go and try to win another World Series and hopefully he enjoys that. I know it’s going to be a lot moving cross country, first time going through it so it’s going to be a little different for him.”

Turner knows because he made a similar move out west from Washington last summer as part of the Nationals’ shocking eight-player fire sale 21 months after winning a World Series.

Max Scherzer accompanied Turner to Los Angeles. Kyle Schwarber, Yan Gomes, Daniel Hudson, Josh Harrison, Brad Hand and Jon Lester were all dealt to other locations. The moves came after the club had lost All-Stars Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon over the previous three offseasons.

Trading Soto and first baseman Josh Bell, one of the most productive hitters in the National League this season, on Tuesday was the final move to end an era in Washington. The Nationals made five playoff appearances over eight seasons starting in 2012. The stretch concluded with their unlikely 2019 World Series run, which included beating the Dodgers in the National League Division Series.

Turner said he believes the decision of Nationals ownership to sell the team, revealed in April, was behind the radical overhaul.

“It sucks for the fans,” Turner said. “It sucks. But, like I said, something changed over there. I don’t know if it’s the sale of the team. They probably were, I think, early in 2021 or sometime in 2021, they kind of knew they were going to sell the team and things started changing. So, it’s…

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