What we know about Juan Soto’s contract talks and potential Nationals trade options
Juan Soto rejected a 15-year, $440 million offer, sources say Athleticism‘s Ken Rosenthal, and the team now plans to accept trade offers for him leading up to the August 2 deadline. The proposal, the Nationals’ third in recent months, included no deferred money, a departure from standard team practice. Soto is represented by Scott Boras who generally prefers his clients to establish their values in the market.
Here’s what we know about how the negotiations got to this point and what to expect next.
Which teams could trade for Soto now?
AJ Preller is always ready to get weird, and his Padres still have enough scouting capital to be a player in a Soto trade. Such a move would be bold, perhaps bordering on madness, but Preller is not one to shy away from the splash.
The Mets play in the NL East, but they also have the sport’s wealthiest owner in Steve Cohen, who could pay the tax named after him to give Soto an extension. They might also have the ability to take over a bad contract. Cohen’s team has enough high-end prospects like Francisco Álvarez to make it happen.
The Dodgers have the financial muscle to get involved. The tender will require financial flexibility, given that the industry believes any deal with Soto will require contracts like Patrick Corbin’s.
Just about any team in or near a contention window — and with the proper resources — should be in play. We’re looking at you Giants, Cardinals, Braves and Red Sox. And, of course, the Yankees have shown that if they want a player enough, they’ll move mountains of cash to make things happen. (See: Gerrit Cole).
What trade would compare to a deal for Soto?
Miguel Cabrera is the owner of 3,068 hits, 505 homers and an E-ZPass for Cooperstown. But before all that, the living Tigers legend was at the center of a blockbuster trade, perhaps the only deal comparable to the one involving Juan Soto. By the age of 24, Cabrera had won a World Series in his first big league experience in 2003, then earned All-Star honors in each of his first four full seasons with the Florida Marlins. He was coming off a season in which he hit .320/.401/.565 with 34 homers. But in the winter of 2007, with the team’s finances in shambles and a new stadium contract looking far-fetched, the Marlins decided they couldn’t give Cabrera the kind of extension that would be needed for the To keep. The Tigers acquired Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis for Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller, Eulogio de la Cruz, Mike Rabelo, Burke Badenhop and Dallas Trahern. The Nationals should probably try to do better for Soto.
What were the Nationals’ previous offers?
The Nationals offered Soto a 13-year, $350 million deal last year, and multiple sources said the organization made a second, larger offer this spring, though exact finances are unknown.
How good is Juan Soto?
In AthleticismTo start the season, there was virtually no debate among baseball pundits as to who the three best players in MLB are: Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani and Juan Soto. “I honestly think people don’t understand how good Juan Soto is,” a pitching coach said.
Soto, batting .247 with 19 home runs and an .895 OPS, is below his usual levels but got hot in July. He has remarkable plate discipline and at 23, so the best is probably yet to come. It’s a staggering thought for a player who has a career 160+ OPS in his first five major league seasons. He is a skillful hitter who has, in some waysfollowed in the footsteps of immortals like Ted Williams.
What is Soto’s current contract?
The Nationals and Soto accepted a one-year, $17.1 million offer in May to avoid arbitration. He is under the control of the club for the rest of this season, then two more.
Who is the highest paid MLB player?
The Nationals’ offer exceeded in total dollars the 12-year, $426.5 million contract Mike Trout signed with the Angels in March 2019. Soto would have received an average salary of $29.33 million, the 20th highest in baseball history, had he accepted the Nationals. ‘ most recent offer.
This season, Mets ace Max Scherzer is the highest-paid player, earning $43.3 million on a three-year, $130 million contract.
(Photo: Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports)