Report: Nationals to shop Juan Soto after he rejects $440 million offer
The Washington Nationals plan to entertain trade offers for two-time All-Star outfielder Juan Soto after he turned down a 15-year, $440 million contract extension proposal from the team, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
Soto, 23, is one of the top young talents in baseball and finished as the runner up for NL MVP in 2021. He led the majors in on base percentage in both the 2020 and 2021 seasons. While his batting average this season has tumbled to .247, he leads MLB in walks and is second in the NL in OBP behind only Paul Goldschmidt of the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Nationals won the 2019 World Series, but have since stripped the roster and are in the beginning stages of a rebuild. The team traded pitcher Max Scherzer and shortstop Trea Turner to the Los Angeles Dodgers during the 2021 season, but maintained that Soto was a building block for the future of the franchise.
That reportedly changed when Soto turned down an offer that would’ve been the largest in MLB history.
While the $440 million total is staggering, the average of $29.3 million would’ve been lower than a few deals. It would’ve been well south of the $35.5 million per year given to Mike Trout who signed a 12-year, $426 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels in 2019.
The MLB trade deadline is set for Aug. 2.