WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 31: Juan Soto #22 of the Washington Nationals takes a knee before the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park on July 31, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Well, well, well. Things are getting really interesting in Major League Baseball as the trade deadline is just a few hours away.

The San Diego Padres made a huge statement Tuesday afternoon completing a trade with the Washington Nationals to not only acquire Juan Soto but Josh Bell as well, as San Diego not only positions itself to challenge the Dodgers in the NL West, but could be a huge thorn in the side of the New York Mets come October in the National League playoffs.

The Padres agreed to send a boatload that includes left-handed pitcher MacKenzie Gore, outfielders Robert Hassell III and James Wood, shortstop C.J. Abrams, right handed pitcher Jarlin Sasana. The last player included in that return to Washington was veteran Eric Hosmer, who exercised a no-trade clause to Washington, after it was reported he was “not trilled” about heading to last place Washington.

The deal is still going through between Washington and San Diego, although, according to Mark Feinsand, Hosmer will not be part of the package going back to D.C. The Padres will have to figure something out with Hosmer over the next couple of hours. Either they keep him or trade him elsewhere.

With Soto and Bell heading to San Diego, it would create a very intimidating with Fernando Tatis and Manny Machado already in tow. The Padres have been very aggressive this season. On Monday they acquired Brewers closer Josh Hader in a deal.

And with a pitching staff of Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, Joe Musgrove, and Sean Manaea, the Padres have a team that can legitimately push the Mets, Dodgers and Braves for the National League title.

In fact, San Diego is 5-2 this year against the Mets in head-to-head matchups, which includes winning two of three at Citi Field two weeks ago.

Soto is having another outstanding season at the plate with 21 homeruns, even if his RBI production is down at 46 RBI. Those numbers will go up in Southern California. Bell is having a brilliant campaign, batting at .301 with 14 homers and 57 RBI.