The San Diego Padres turned the baseball world upside down, as general manager AJ Preller played a dizzying game of ‘Let’s Make A Deal’ ahead of the MLB trade deadline. Preller secured the deadline’s grand prize, Juan Soto, and first baseman Josh Bell, in a deal with the Washington Nationals. The Padres also brought in closer Josh Hader and versatile infielder/outfielder Brandon Drury.
On Wednesday night, Preller and the Padres got to see the new toys in action, as Soto took the field for the first time as a member of his new club. As he took the field, Padres faithful showered him with a standing ovation. After the contest, a 9-1 victory, Soto reacted to the ovation he received, per AJ Cassavell of MLB.com.
“It brings a lot of emotions for me,” Soto said. “It feels amazing, all the crowd and everything. It was an amazing moment for me, how they cheered for me.”
Per Cassavell, Juan Soto said that the Padres’ fans ovation “brings a lot of emotions” for him. Undoubtedly, the former Nationals slugger probably feels a bit out of place in San Diego. But he also feels welcomed at the same time, given the “amazing moment” he experienced upon taking the field.
Batting in the two-hole, Soto went 1-for-3 with a pair of walks and a run scored. His first hit was a single to right field. While fans were likely hoping to see him leave the yard, the ex-Nationals slugger described his impact best, saying that even when he draws a walk, he can “still do damage.”
Expect plenty of damage to be done by Juan Soto and company. And Padres fans are already on board.