Scott Boras provided clarity on the Juan Soto extension talks at today’s GM meetings.
Signing Juan Soto to a long-term extension is number one on the Nationals to-do list. That is obvious. Only 23, Soto was just named a finalist for NL MVP after finishing the 2021 season hitting .313, with 29 homers, 95 RBIs, and an OPS of .999. He led all of baseball in OBP and walks
After the front office let Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon walk, they need to show their commitment to the fanbase by locking up arguably the best hitter in baseball. Since the team started to rebuild, fans have been clamoring for Soto to be handed a blank check and many have speculated what it would take for him to stay in D.C. long term.
Others have wondered if the Soto and the front office have even started to engage in extension talks. Well earlier today, super-agent Scott Boras had a press conference with the media discussing his clients who are free agents. During the press conference, he was asked about his client Soto and the status of an extension.
To no one’s surprise, he established that Soto wants to win and the Nationals need to prove they can sustain long-term success before he is ready to talk staying. Don’t read too much into this because all players want to win. That’s why they play the game.
And for Washington, a major reason they started a rebuild at last year’s trade deadline was to build around Soto and gear up for a new championship run with a younger core. President of Baseball Operations Mike Rizzo has always stated he and the front office are dedicated to winning and they don’t intend for a long rebuild.
If everything goes as planned, the Nationals will be back to contending by 2023, 2024 at the latest. Keibert Ruiz, Luis Garcia, and Josh Bell are solid contributors and the farm system is stacked with pitching prospects who are ready to pick up the torch. Throw in Josiah Gray is already on the big league roster and the Nats have their work cut out for them.
Now Rizzo and company will need to fill out the remaining holes and lucky for them, they are facing a stacked free-agent class. Splurging on a bat and then focusing on the bullpen will vastly speed up the team’s timetable.
Boras’s comments shouldn’t come as a surprise and instead, he just reiterated what is already known. Time for the front office to get to work.