WASHINGTON -- The cheers were yelled louder. The applause was clapped harder. The exclamation of “We love you, Juan!” following an eighth-inning walk was accentuated.

It remains to be seen if Monday -- the last game before Tuesday’s 6 p.m. ET Trade Deadline

But if it was his curly "W" finale, there was no question as to the impact he has made in Washington at only 23 years old.

Soto has been the focal point of the baseball trade universe since he turned down a 15-year, $440 million contract extension. He does not become a free agent until after the 2024 season.

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Soto has been tested -- to overcome pitchers in the batter’s box and the noise off the field.

“For me, it’s always a challenge to face [Jacob] deGrom,” he said. “At the end of the day, I’m just not going to think about [the Deadline], just going to come like it’s another day in the schedule.” While Tuesday is centered around uncertainty, it can’t take away from the undoubted appreciation shown for Soto on Monday.

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