Nationals' Juan Soto unhappy with trade rumor, 'you don't know what to trust'
July 19, 2022
Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto has said he was unhappy with a rumor saying that his team would trade him in the offseason. Recently, Soto rejected the biggest contract offer in the history of MLB. The 24-year-old turned down a 15 years deal plus $440 million, which would be the longest deal in franchise history.
Where Soto will play next remains a mystery. A simple contract extension is now a complicated negotiation, and it appears that money is not everything for Soto. He stalls the talks and lets his agent take the wheel so he can focus on what happens on the field.
It was not the first time Soto rejected the Nationals' offer. In 2021, he turned down a $350 million, 13 years of extension offer. Soto said he was frustrated that the contract talks were leaked to the public, saying he had lost trust in his team.
"A couple weeks ago, they were saying they will never trade me. And now all these things come out. You don't know what to trust," said Soto on Starting9.
The lucrative offering does not distract Soto from being on his top performance. With all the buzz through the week, he secured a home run to beat the Seattle Mariners 19-18. He said he only wanted to give his all on the field.
“Right now, I don’t even think about [the contract]. I think I’m a champion, and I will be a champion for the Nationals,” Soto told ESPN after the win.
Three history-deciding scenarios
There are some ways the saga could come to an end. First, Soto can stay with the Nationals until the current contract expires in 2024. If the player leaves as a free agent, the club will receive a compensation fee from the buying team.
As per this season's regulations, teams that lose a big free agent get a draft pick at the end of the first round. The Nationals can take this option if they still see themselves capable of competing for the title. With Soto still in his prime, he can help the team advance in the league before both parties go their separate way in two years.
The second option is for the Nationals to trade Soto before the deadline. If the negotiation meets a dead end, it would be best to swap him. If there is no place guaranteed for Soto, 29 other clubs would love to have him, and the Nationals would have a young prospect player coming in return. One thing is for sure, however, losing Soto will affect ticket and merchandise sales in many years to come.
The last option for Soto is to accept the contract and stay for a long term with the Nationals. It would be the biggest MLB contract of all time, exceeding Los Angeles Angels' $426 million deal with Mike Trout. Soto would also record an all-time second-biggest contract in the history of U.S. major sports leagues. Only Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes has received a more lucrative number at $450 million.