One item I saw last week was that (before the lockout obviously) Juan Soto was offered a $350,000,000 contract that would have kept him with the Nationals through his age 36 season…and that he did not sign it. I didn’t post anything about it immediately as (1) I wasn’t sure what to make of it—why it was announced last week, over two months into the lockout, (2) whether I care, (3) what it means for Soto’s future.
Soto, of course, isn’t even arbitration eligible until after this season, or free agent eligible until 2025. If he does go through arbitration next offseason, money records are likely to fall. Yet, $350M is a really big commitment from the team and a lot of risk seeing as the money is guaranteed but Soto being healthy isn’t. It’s also more than he will make via arbitration but not necessarily arbitration plus shorter free agency deals. It’s worth remembering that Scott Boras is his agent, and he generally advises his high end clients to at least test free agency to maximize income. Juan Soto for his part is saying the right things about wanting to play his whole career with the Nationals, but we know that’s just talk for now.
I’m still not sure why this was released when it was, nor whether it was the right decision to not sign the deal but…I’m pretty sure I’d have signed it, Not that he’s wrong to decline it, I just think I couldn’t turn down $350M guaranteed.