Juan Soto and the San Diego Padres reportedly agreed on a 1-year, $23 million deal to avoid arbitration, per Jeff Passan.

Soto was acquired by San Diego from the Washington Nationals ahead of the 2022 MLB trade deadline. The Padres would likely prefer to have agreed on a long-term contract extension with the 24-year old. But they have time to work something out. Soto, who will be arbitration eligible in 2024 as well, is not scheduled to hit free agency until 2025.

Juan Soto has emerged as one of the best young players in all of baseball. He won’t turn 25-years old until next October but has already been in the league since 2018. He played a pivotal role for the Nationals during their 2019 World Series run, and is regarded as a pure hitter in every sense.

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However, Soto endured a down season for his standards in 2022. He ultimately slashed .242/.401/.452 with an .853 OPS between Washington and San Diego. Juan Soto’s OBP and OPS were still solid. But he previously posted a league-leading .465 OBP to go along with a .999 OPS in 2021. Nevertheless, he still led the league in walks during the 2022 campaign.

The Padres have built an exciting roster. They signed Xander Bogaerts during the offseason to compliment the Manny Machado and Juan Soto-led lineup. Additionally, Fernando Tatis Jr will return in early 2023. If all goes according to plan, this will be a Padres team capable of making a deep postseason run.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Padres engage with Soto in extension talks prior to Opening Day. For now, both sides will be content with the 1-year, $23 million deal.