Juan Soto rejected the offer to extend $350 million from citizens before the closure

The Nationals showcased a star defensive player Juan Soto A 13-year contract worth $350 million was extended before the shutdown began, ESPN’s Enrique Rojas reports (Spanish language link). Soto confirmed that the team made him a long-term offer, but told Rojas that he and his agents at Boras would prefer to go year after year by arbitration. It remains under the club’s control until 2024, giving it three more seasons before it enters the open market.

According to Rojas, the offer did not include any delays and would have been valid for next season had Soto’s accepted. Nats have deferred payments on several recent big-ticket deals. Each of Max ScherzerAnd Patrick Corbin And Stephen Strasbourg, for example, they agreed to pay a large portion of their profits beyond the term of the contract. That lowered the present value of those deals, but the offer to Soto wouldn’t have the same effect. The show’s specific payment structure is unclear, but overall, it included an average annual value of $27 million during the 2034 campaign.

Some fans will surely be wary of the idea of ​​Soto leaving $350 million on the table. It’s clearly a life-changing amount of money, and it’s reduced to third largest Guarantee (before inflation) the history of the MLB. However, a deeper look at Soto’s position makes it unsurprising that it wasn’t enough to let go of the possibility of a more lucrative payday in the future.

Soto already has a great deal of financial security, which reduces his incentive to give up the future earning power of upfront payments. He reached arbitration early as a Super Two qualifier outside the final season, eventually agreeing to his $8.5 million salary for 2021. Matt Schwartz, MLBTR Contributor projects to earn about $16.2 million during his second voyage through the process this year. That’s roughly $25 million Soto earned but actually earned.

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Assuming he continues to perform as one of the league’s top players, Soto will see significant leaps in each of his last two refereeing seasons. He could approach or increase the $27 million annual salary the Citizens offered for the extension by his final year of judging. Mocky Pets The $27 million deal for the 2020-21 season is the largest ever for a player eligible to referee, and Soto’s Super Two qualification gives him a higher starting point for future earnings compared to Bates at the time.

As another frame of reference, take 14 years, $340 million extension Fernando Tates Jr. I signed with Padres last February. The Soto deal narrowly beats this indicator, but he is negotiating from a position with more financial strength. Tatis had had four years of free agency at the time the extension was signed; Soto is currently three years away. And Tates didn’t qualify for the Super Two, so it was still a season of his first major refereeing batch. Soto, as previously mentioned, has raised $8.5 million which is on par with nearly double that amount this year. If one views Soto and Tates as similarly valuable players, it is not surprising that the former’s relatively stronger negotiating position caused him to reject a $10 million guarantee north of the Tates deal.

One could argue precisely where Soto fits into the debate for the sport’s greatest players, but there is no doubt that he is among the very few. He’s been one of the game’s top hitters since the moment he debuted as a 19-year-old in May 2018. Soto’s offensive production is at least 43 percentage points above the league average, by WRC+ metric, in All four of his matches. MLB seasons. He’s particularly taken off the last couple of years, posting numbers that look like they’re from a video game.

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Since the start of the 2020 season, Soto has reached .322/.471/.572 across 850 board appearances. He has walked 21.9% of his ridiculous rides while only making 14.2% of the time, showing the best sports awareness of his strike zone. Among the eligible hitters, only the NL MVP . defends Bryce Harper (.426) has an OBP within 50 points of the Soto mark. Soto tracks only Tria Turner (.330) in hitting rate, while Tatís (.598) and Harper (.594) are the only hitters with better collision numbers.

Soto has done it all as an amazing young player. Turning 23 last October, he’s poised to get access to free agency ahead of his 26-year campaign. It is therefore not surprising that most people view him as on his way to at least his first baseball contract worth $400 million, and it is plausible that he could exceed $500 million in the open market. Scherzer topped the average annual value of $40 million this winter (by a large margin, at $43.33 million). A $40 million AAV over 13 years — which would “only” last through Soto’s 38-year-old season — means a $520 million guarantee, for example.

There is plenty of time before free agency becomes Soto’s focus, but he and agent Scott Borras are no doubt aware of the opportunity for him to set contractual milestones. Soto told Rojas that he still envisions himself spending his entire career in Washington, but it appears his current plan is to let the next few seasons out in hopes of making it to the open market. After a regulatory adjustment rolled into last summer’s trading deadline, it remains to be seen how quickly the Nats plan to install another competitive roster around Soto in hopes of securing their second World Championship title during his tenure.

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