If Monday's was his last game as a Washington National, Juan Soto went out in style.
The Nationals slugger led off the bottom of the fourth inning against the New York Mets with a home run off three-time Cy Young winner and fellow World Series-winning ex-teammate Max Scherzer.
The home run was his 21st of the season and potentially his last in a Nationals uniform. MLB's trade deadline is Tuesday afternoon, and Soto is widely believed to be the biggest prize available.
The Nationals marked Monday's occasion on Twitter with an angle featuring a standing ovation from the home crowd.
The love wasn't the last he'd receive on Monday.
The home run was his only hit, but the Mets couldn't get him out. Soto finished the night 1-1 at the plate with three walks, two runs scored and one RBI. After his final walk in the eighth inning, Soto notched his sixth stolen base of the season.
Nationals fans, realizing that it very well could have been his last at-bat with Washington, gave Soto another ovation when he took his base in the eighth.
Was this Juan Soto's last at bat as a Washington National? pic.twitter.com/FJjZA9Fxi7
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) August 2, 2022
The Mets went on to win the game, 7-3, a result that encapsulates the problem in Washington — part of it, at least. But more so than the woes of the current iteration of the Nationals, money is the real source of drama when it comes to Soto.
Soto — a generational hitter — is on the trade market after he reportedly turned down a 15-year, $440 million offer from the Nationals. It's a staggering sum, but an average annual salary that doesn't match what he'd command on the open market.
The New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres are all reportedly serious bidders for Soto — which presumably means that they'd be more amenable to the 23-year-old's contract demands.
The trade deadline lands at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Stay tuned. And if you're a Nationals fan, relish what could Soto's last stand in Washington.