Juan Soto turned down the Washington Nationals’ generous offer to extend his contract, so the team is reportedly willing to trade for the right fielder. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Soto reportedly rejected a 15-year, $440 million offer from the Nationals, making it the third time recently that he has rejected an offer from the team.
Following his rejection of the Nationals’ most recent extension offer, Soto will reportedly be put on the trade market. This might seem like a lot of money to be turning down but it’s nothing compared to what you’d be turning down for not joining Vegas online casino.
According to Rosenthal, the contract would have made Soto the highest-paid player in baseball history regarding total compensation. With a salary of $29.3 million, he would have ranked as the 20th-highest-paid player overall. Soto is under the team’s control until 2024, but according to Rosenthal, the Nationals intend to consider trade offers for him before the trade deadline on August 2.
Soto commented on the situation on Saturday and expressed his displeasure that it ended up in the public eye because he prefers to keep things private. Soto declined the offer for several reasons, including the contract terms and the uncertainty surrounding the franchise’s future. According to reports, Soto and his agent Scott Boras believed the annual salary was too low and that the backloaded offer was essentially the same as including deferred money.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan noted that Major League Baseball is debating what it would take to acquire Soto. One general manager remarked that “a Herschel Walker deal” would be necessary. The Nationals’ most recent offer would have locked the 23-year-old Soto into a deal that would have kept him with the team through his 38th season.
Mike Rizzo, the general manager of the Nationals, stated earlier this month that the team had no interest in trading for Soto and instead wanted to build around him. However, according to Rosenthal, because Soto declined to sign the $440 million contract, Washington believes he will never sign again. The club will therefore look for trade opportunities, but it won’t part with him for anything less than its asking price.
With two All-Star selections, two Silver Slugger Awards, one batting title, and a significant role in the Nationals’ World Series victory in 2019, Soto has accomplished a lot in just five seasons. Soto led the National League with a batting average of.351 in 2020 after setting career highs with 34 home runs and 110 RBI in 2019. He then hit.313 with 29 home runs and 95 RBI last season.
With a slash line of.247/.405/.490, he is having a down year by his standards, but he still has 19 home runs, 42 RBI, and leads the majors with 79 walks. The strong left-hander has recently been on a roll, hitting.417 with five home runs and 10 RBI in July. He will participate in the Los Angeles Dodger Stadium Home Run Derby on Monday. Given his experience and age, Soto would fetch a hefty price in a trade, providing the Nationals with high-caliber assets to help them rebuild.
Teams Which May Sign Soto
Divided into six tiers, the following 29 non-National clubs may sign Soto.
Tier 1: Athletics, Marlins, Rays, Pirates, Guardians, Brewers.
These six teams would still have to pay Soto’s sizeable arbitration awards even if they didn’t try to extend him; that’s not how they operate. Since flags fly forever, and they’d have plenty of time to trade him and recoup prospects at a later time, one could argue that the contending Rays, Guardians, or Brewers should consider acquiring Soto for the stretch run.
Tier 2: Royals, Reds, Diamondbacks, Orioles, Rockies, Tigers
Even though we acknowledge that some of these six teams are more likely than others to return to the competitive ranks, we don’t believe any of them will seriously challenge the Nationals’ asking price.
Tier 3: Cubs, Rangers, White Sox, Angels, Twins, Padres
We’re drawing a line through this group because we believe that they fall short in either the financial or the prospect component, regardless of how entertaining it would be to see Soto in a lineup with players like Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout or Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. This is the first tier so far where we feel like a team from here could make a play; in other words, we’re warming up.
Tier 4: Braves, Phillies, Mets
The Nationals’ willingness to trade Soto within the division will be a question that will be posed to them. If so, these teams ought to be elevated to the top tier, with the Mets particularly standing out as one of the top potential landing spots for him; if not, teams typically don’t want to trade their in-house superstar to a rival they’ll face both at home and on the road constantly throughout the season. Despite the response, Soto and his legal team will probably use the Mets, particularly Steve Cohen’s deep pocket, as a useful bogeyman until Soto signs a new contract.
Tier 5: Astros, Blue Jays, Red Sox
Soto would be a good fit for these three teams because they are all competitive and situated in significant media markets. Still, we wonder if their front offices would be open to accepting the contract terms he would demand.
Tier 6: Mariners, Giants, Yankees, Dodgers, Cardinals
On paper, the Mariners make sense. Because the Giants don’t have many significant long-term commitments, Soto would take Buster Posey’s place as the franchise’s face. The problem is that Zaidi lacks the prospect war chest that some of his rivals do, which means that to make up for it, he might have to accept a subpar contract like Patrick Corbin’s.
Due to their financial clout and track record of profiting from these circumstances, the Yankees must be near the top of these lists. The Dodgers consistently rank very high on these lists, similar to the Yankees.
The Cardinals have the most direct path to acquiring Soto. Recent seasons have seen them prevail over rival teams for Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado. They’ve also taken swings at Francisco Lindor. The Cardinals have the ability to present a package that combines Tyler O’Neill, Masyn Winn, Jordan Walker, and Dylan Carlson.