Comparing the Juan Soto trade to other recent MLB blockbuster deals

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Comparing the Soto trade to other recent MLB blockbuster deals originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

What was Juan Soto worth?

No, not in terms of a dollar figure. It became apparent that number potentially could exceed half a billion dollars.

But what was the Washington Nationals outfielder worth on the trade market? That question was answered Tuesday when Soto was dealt to the San Diego Padres, along with Josh Bell, for a package that included C.J. Abrams, MacKenzie Gore, Robert Hassell III, James Wood and Jarlin Susana.

Teams typically do not take calls on a player of Soto's age and caliber. He's a 23-year-old outfielder who is already a former batting champion, an MVP runner-up, a newly crowned Home Run Derby winner and a player confident enough in his own abilities to turn down a 15-year, $440 million offer. Even with two-and-a-half years remaining before he becomes a free agent.

There are few players in Major League Baseball that the Nationals could have traded Soto for straight up that would return equal value. Instead, they received a treasure trove of prospects that will help the team with the worst record in baseball restock its farm system.

Here's a look at what the Nationals and other MLB teams over the last 25 years have received in exchange for their star players:

Juan Soto - 2022

San Diego Padres received: Juan Soto (OF), Josh Bell (1B)

Washington Nationals received: C.J. Abrams (SS), MacKenzie Gore (P), Robert Hassell III (OF), James Wood (OF), Jarlin Susana (P)

It was an unprecedented deal as Soto became the first player in MLB history to have made multiple All-Star Games and get traded before his 24th birthday. The two-time All-Star, hitting .246 with 21 home runs and 46 RBIs this season, joins a Padres lineup that includes Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado. The 29-year-old Bell is hitting .301 with 14 home runs and 57 RBIs. Abrams, a 21-year-old shortstop selected sixth overall by San Diego in the 2021 draft, hit .232 with two home runs and 11 RBIs in 46 games with the Padres this season. Hassell, a 20-year-old outfielder ranked as the Padres' top prospect by MLB.com, was hitting .299 with 10 home runs and 55 RBIs with High-A Fort Wayne.    

Francisco Lindor - 2021

New York Mets received: Francisco Lindor (INF), Carlos Carrasco (P)

Cleveland Guardians received: Isaiah Greene (OF), Josh Wolf (P), Andres Gimenez (INF), Amed Rosario (INF)

After the 26-year-old, four-time All-Star was dealt, he signed a 10-year, $341 million contract with New York. Lindor's batting average has dipped considerably, but his production elsewhere has helped the Mets produce the second-best record in the National League at the All-Star break. Cleveland received an All-Star in return with the 23-year-old Gimenez playing in the Midsummer Classic this season after hitting .296 with 10 homers and 43 RBIs.

Mookie Betts - 2020

Los Angeles Dodgers received: Mookie Betts (OF), David Price (P)

Boston Red Sox received: Jeter Downs (INF), Alex Verdugo (OF), Connor Wong (C)

The rebuilding Red Sox packaged the 27-year-old Betts, the 2018 MVP, with the highly paid veteran Price in an offseason salary dump. Betts, after inking a 12-year, $365 million extension with Los Angeles, helped the Dodgers win the World Series during the pandemic-shortened season in 2020. Verdugo has hit .284 through two-plus seasons for the Red Sox, and Downs made his big league debut in June, with his first career home run coming at Yankee Stadium.

Manny Machado - 2018

Los Angeles Dodgers received: Manny Machado (INF)

Baltimore Orioles received: Yusniel Diaz (OF), Rylan Bannon (3B), Dean Kremer (P), Zach Pop (P), Breyvic Valera (INF)

The 26-year-old Machado, a four-time All-Star who was a free-agent-to-be at the time, didn't stay in L.A. long after the midseason trade, which was for 10 years and $300 million. But he did help the Dodgers reach the World Series in the few months he spent with the team before signing as a free agent with the San Diego Padres for 10 years and $300 million. It's far too soon to grade this trade with the O's prospects still developing. Kremer has gone 3-1 with a 2.59 ERA in eight starts this season, and Diaz, with Triple-A Norfolk, is hitting .230 with three home runs and 12 RBIs.

Miguel Cabrera - 2007 

Detroit Tigers received: Miguel Cabrera (INF), P Dontrelle Willis (P)

Florida Marlins received: Dallas Trahern (P), Burke Badenhop (P), Frankie De La Cruz (P), Cameron Maybin (OF), Andrew Miller (P), Mike Rabelo (C)

Cabrera was just 24 years old at the time of the trade, coming off a season in which he hit .320 with 34 home runs and 119 RBIs while making his fourth straight All-Star team. He would go on to win the Triple Crown with Detroit in 2012 during the first of two straight MVP seasons, and he’d sign an eight-year, $248 million contract with the Tigers in 2014. Of the players acquired by the Marlins, Badenhop struck around longest with the team, going 13-15 with a 4.34 ERA over four seasons.

Alex Rodriguez - 2004

New York Yankees received: Alex Rodriguez (SS), cash

Texas Rangers received: Alfonso Soriano (INF), Joaquin Arias (INF)

The Yankees were in the market for a third baseman after Aaron Boone – months after hitting a pennant-clinching, walk-off home run in Game 7 of the ALCS – tore his ACL while playing pickup basketball in the offseason. Instead, they got the game's highest-paid, and arguably best, player and shifted him to third from shortstop, Derek Jeter's position. Rodriguez signed a 10-year, $275 million contract with the Yankees.

A-Rod, 27 at the time and with 345 career home runs, would win two MVP awards and a World Series with the Yankees before a tumultuous final few seasons in the Bronx. Soriano spent two seasons with the Rangers, making the All-Star team in each, before being traded to the Washington Nationals.

Other Notable Trades:

Nolan Arenado - 2021

St. Louis Cardinals received: Nolan Arenado (3B)

Colorado Rockies received: Mateo Gil (INF), Tony Locey (P), Jake Sommers (P), Austin Gomber (P), Elehuris Montero (1B/3B)

Roy Halladay - 2009

Philadelphia Phillies received: Roy Halladay (P), cash

Toronto Blue Jays received: Travis d'Arnaud (C), Kyle Drabek (P), Michael Taylor (OF)

Cliff Lee - 2009

Philadelphia Phillies received: Cliff Lee (P), Ben Francisco 

Cleveland Guardians received: Jason Knapp (P), Carlos Carrasco (P), Jason Donald (INF), Lou Marson (C)

Mark Teixeira - 2008

Atlanta Braves received: Mark Teixeira (1B), Ron Mahay (P)

Texas Rangers received: Beau Jones (P), Elvis Andrus (SS), Neftali Feliz (P), Matt Harrison (P), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (C)

CC Sabathia - 2007

Milwaukee Brewers received: CC Sabathia

Cleveland Guardians received: Rob Bryson (P), Zach Jackson P), Matt LaPorta (UTL), Michael Brantley (OF)

Johan Santana - 2007

New York Mets received: Johan Santana

Minnesota Twins received:  Carlos Gomez (OF), Deolis Guerra (P), Philip Humber (P), Kevin Mulvey (P)

Carlos Beltran - 2004

Houston Astros received: Carlos Beltran (OF)

Kansas City Royals received: Mark Teahen (UTL), Mike Wood (P), John Buck (C), cash

Oakland Athletics received: Octavio Dotel (P)

Ken Griffey Jr. - 2000

Cincinnati Reds received: Ken Griffey Jr. (OF)

Seattle Mariners received: Jake Meyer (P), Mike Cameron (OF), Antonio Perez (INF), Brett Tomko (P)

Mark McGwire - 1997

St. Louis Cardinals received: Mark McGwire (1B)

Oakland Athletics received: Eric Ludwick (P), T.J. Mathews (P), Blake Stein (P)