Nationals: Washington Agrees to Arbitration with Soto, Bell, and Turner
By Max Rayman
Earlier today was the deadline for teams to come to terms with arbitration-eligible players. For Washington, Josh Bell, Juan Soto, and Trea Turner all came to an agreement with the team, avoiding arbitration.
Josh Bell will be paid $6.3 million, a raise from the $4.8 million he received in 2020. Acquired this past Christmas Eve, in a trade with Pittsburgh, the slugger is coming off a down year. In 2020 he hit .226, with eight homers, 22 RBIs, and an OPS of .669. However, he is just two years removed from hitting .277 with 37 homers, 116 RBIs, and an OPS of .936. A career .261 hitter, Bell will be leaned on to provide so much needed protection behind Soto.
Trea Turner broke out in 2020, hitting .335, with 12 homers, 41 RBIs, and an OPS of .982. He will receive $13 million in 2021, a steady increase from last season when he earned $7.45 million. Nationals fans should rejoice that both Turner and Soto avoided arbitration. The team and fanbase do not need any bad blood between the stars and the front office. Now that this is out of the way, Turner and the team need to come to terms on a contract extension. Turner will be a free agent after the 2022 season, but the team needs to lock him up. The fan base cannot afford to watch a third star walk out the doors.
Thanks to the Super Two, Juan Soto was arbitration-eligible a year early. The phenom will earn a reported $8.5 million. A significant raise from the $629,400 he received last season. Arguably the best hitter in the game, Soto won the NL battle title in 2020, thanks to his .351 average. Soto missed out on winning NL MVP due to him missing the beginning of the season due to a positive COVID Test. Despite this, he still hit .351, with 13 homers, 37 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.185. After playing for peanuts in 2020, Soto will finally start to earn what he is deserved.