It has been reported that Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto was offered a 13-year, $350 million dollar contract and rejected it.
The 13-year, $350 million dollar offer that the Washington Nationals offered Juan Soto was most likely the first of many contract offers to gauge the level of interest of Soto. In terms of the Nationals, they were trying to get a long-term deal done early in hopes of making sure Soto is around for the long-term like the Atlanta Braves did by signing Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies to long-term contracts well before they hit the free-agent market.
What better way to send a message to the entire Nationals fanbase than to say that they are committed to one of the best young players in Major League Baseball before he has a chance to break all kinds of contract records when he is eligible to sign with any team? Washington Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo is already has proven that he’s willing to play Soto more money than Bryce Harper was offered before he became a free agent and eventually signed with the Philadelphia Phillies.
At the end of the day, Juan Soto will hold back on signing a contract extension because it’s possible that the first $500 million dollar contract will be signed. That type of contract would take Major League Baseball to a new level when it comes to free-agent contract negotiations. It doesn’t hurt that power agent, Scott Boras is Soto’s agent.
Most Boras clients wait until they are free agents to test the market to see how much they can get. The last National to sign an extension before hitting free agency was pitcher Stephen Strasburg.
We all know that this is a business, but let’s hope the next contract that the Nationals offer Soto will be at least $400 million. Eventually, they might try to offer $500 million and see what Soto says. If the offer is still rejected at $500 million, then the Nationals would be able to determine if they should trade him so they could get something for him instead of letting him walk without getting anything for him.