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The Padres have reached another low point

The team that traded Juan Soto has the same record as the team who acquired him a little more than a year ago

MLB: San Diego Padres at Washington Nationals Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

If you would’ve told me on Opening Day that the San Diego Padres would have an identical record with the Washington Nationals on August 27, I would have laughed. I’m not laughing now though because that’s the truth. It’s the latest low point in a miserable Padres season.

Washington famously traded their superstar Juan Soto before last year’s trade deadline in what was another signal that they were in full rebuild mode. Anthony Rendon, Max Scherzer and Trea Turner were already off the roster before Soto was dealt.

So in other words, Washington was not expected to contend this year and they’re not. However, they’re already a better team than what was expected from them in 2023. ranked the Nationals (61-70) as the worst team in the National League and the second-worst team in all of baseball on January 1, projecting them to win 55 games. The Padres (61-70) were ranked fourth in MLB and projected to win 89 games.

In case you were wondering, San Diego would have to go 28-3 to get to that win total this season. Yeah, sorry to break it to anyone but that’s not happening.

Washington’s payroll is 24th in baseball. San Diego’s is third. And yet they have identical records.

We’ve got to give credit to the Nationals for the progress that they’ve made. Manager Dave Martinez and general manager Mike Rizzo are getting extensions for a reason. Lane Thomas has an OPS north of .800. C.J. Abrams is finding more power (14 HR). And it looks like Josiah Gray and MacKenzie Gore will be in their rotation for years to come.

But it’s clear that these two teams having the same record in late August tells us more about how bad the Padres have been than how impressive Washington has been. After all, Washington’s expected win-loss record is 57-74.

I know three or four players don’t make up the entire team but these guys below were expected to be a big reason why the Padres were going to go deep into the postseason. Here are the averages and OPS of the big four in comparison to how they performed last season (and in Tatis’ case 2021). The red means the numbers have gone down and the green means they’ve gone up.

So three of the big four, who are making over $48,000,000 combined this season, have regressed. Then add that to the fact they were the worst team with runners in scoring position earlier this season and are on pace to be the worst one-run team in baseball since 1935 and it makes sense why the Padres are going to be sitting on their couch come October 2.

On to an almost meaningless series against the St. Louis Cardinals (another team that has underperformed this season).