Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto, one of the best players in the majors today, has just made it a little harder for his team to hold on to him beyond the upcoming 2022 MLB trade deadline. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Soto has turned down a massive extension offer from the Nationals, making him a supremely enticing trade target for every team.
Soto, 23, rejected a 15-year, $440 million offer, sources said. The proposal, the Nationals’ third in recent months, did not include any deferred money, a departure from the team’s usual practice. The two biggest guarantees in club history, $245 million for right-hander Stephen Strasburg and $210 million for righty Max Scherzer, included significant deferrals, lowering the present-day values of the deals.
This is a huge story in DC, to say the least, because Soto apparently can't be shown enough money to get convinced to play with the Nationals for a long time. And as mentioned by Rosenthal in his story, Soto's decision has the Nationals now seriously looking at the possibility of shipping the 23-year-old sensation somewhere. That doesn't mean it would come before the 2022 MLB trade deadline in August, however, as Juan Soto won't be a free agent until the end of the 2024 MLB season. After this season, he would still have two more years of salary arbitration.
Juan Soto's refusal to put ink on paper for a crippling amount of money to stay in Washington for virtually his entire pro career should send shockwaves across the MLB, with every general manager virtually required to kick the tires on the possibility of trading for the Dominican outfielder.