Juan Soto clobbers home run off Max Scherzer as Nationals seek to trade All-Star before deadline

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Washington Nationals slugger Juan Soto showed just how valuable he could be as he hit a home run off New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer.

Soto remained the focal point of the MLB trade deadline. Washington has yet to find a suitable deal that would allow them to pull the trigger on a trade. The Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals were reportedly the three remaining teams in the sweepstakes.

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Nationals’ Juan Soto gestures to the visiting dugout as he approaches the batter’s box for his first at-bat against the St. Louis Cardinals, July 29, 2022, in Washington.
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

All the 23-year-old can do now, is wait.

“I feel good where I’m at,” he told reporters after the Nationals’ 7-3 loss to the Mets. “I understand it’s a business and they need to do whatever they need to do. I’m just another player, another employee here like (former teammate Ryan Zimmerman) used to say.”

The trade deadline is 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

NATIONALS’ GM MIKE RIZZO NOT UPSET WITH JUAN SOTO: ‘THIS IS A BUSINESS’

Juan Soto smiles as he celebrates after his solo home against the New York Mets at Nationals Park, Monday, Aug. 1, 2022, in Washington.

Juan Soto smiles as he celebrates after his solo home against the New York Mets at Nationals Park, Monday, Aug. 1, 2022, in Washington.
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Soto may not be the only Nationals player dealt by the evening. Josh Bell is also rumored to be involved in trade talks. The Washington Post reported the Padres were interested in acquiring both Soto and Bell.

As of Tuesday, Soto was batting .246 with a .894 OPS and 21 home runs. Bell was hitting .301 with a .877 OPS and 14 home runs.

Juan Soto celebrates with Josh Bell after his solo home run against the New York Mets at Nationals Park, Monday, Aug. 1, 2022, in Washington.

Juan Soto celebrates with Josh Bell after his solo home run against the New York Mets at Nationals Park, Monday, Aug. 1, 2022, in Washington.
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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Soto rejected a 15-year, $440 million offer that didn’t include any deferred money, The Athletic reported. The report noted that Soto is on track to become a free agent just ahead of his age-26 season and could command as much as $500 million on the open market.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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