Superstar outfielder Juan Soto is 23 years old and his franchise the Washington Nationals have tried and failed to get him to sign a mega-deal. Is he on his way?
Soto, who is 10/1 to win the National League Most Valuable Player award in 2022, is currently making $17.1million this season. In his second year of arbitration eligibility he will earn a record salary in his next year of arbitration.
Soto's agent is Scott Boras, who almost certainly takes his clients to wind down their current deals and contract free agency; this begins for Soto after the 2024 season. His rising salary means that Washington will get a lot in return if they traded him now.
The Washington Nationals are going through a rebuilding process following their 2019 World Series win and they have been terrible.
The team is reportedly for sale, general manager Mike Rizzo is in the final year of his contract and the results have been poor in 2022.
Rizzo has been known to make an aggressive deal in the past. In the summer before Bryce Harper reached free agency, Rizzo arranged a trade with the Houston Astros that was eventually ended by the ownership.
Soto is a real talent though and you could understand why Washington would be reluctant to give up one of their real stars. The Nationals could set a high price and wait for an opponent to give up some of their star prospects in return.
The San Diego Padres would be one franchise that always likes to be at the top table these days, while the Toronto Blue Jays have quickly resolved their roster difficulties to challenge at the top end now.