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Washington Nationals Star Juan Soto has reportedly turned down a massive contract extension offer from the team, and it looks like he’s intent on testing free agent waters after the 2024 season.
Soto two more years arbitration left before he could become a free agent. The Nationals’ efforts to keep an outfielder-slugging superstar on the team as one of their cornerstones doesn’t seem to be going well.
The 23-year-old turned down a 15-year, $440 million offer that did not include any money set aside, The Athletic reported Saturday.
The report notes that Soto is on track to become a free agent right before his 26-year season and could command up to $500 million in the open market.
But attempts to make Soto the cornerstone of their recovery are failing.
The deal doesn’t seem closed despite Scott Boras‘and claims by general manager Mike Rizzo to the contrary.
Unnamed MLB team principals told ESPN in May that the Nationals could be “forced” and “motivated” to make a deal with Soto in the summer.
Boras said the New York Post bluntly: “Forget the Soto trade… it’s not happening.” Rizzo added in a radio interview that the team was “totally going to build around Soto” and did not consider trading him.
According to ESPN, Soto and his agents at Boras Corporation decided to forfeit the $350 million 13-year extension during the off-season. He signed a one-year contract during the off-season in arbitration.
It is reported by The Athletic on Saturday. “Juan Soto is free.” and that the citizens would “entertain with offers” for a young stallion.
Trading for a player like Soto would cost the team a fortune.
Entering Saturday, Soto is hitting .247 with an .895 OPS and 19 home runs. He was chosen for his second All-Star Game.
The MLB trade deadline is August. 2.