After Juan Soto rejected a long-term contract offer from the Washington Nationals, league sources tell ESPN that the team is open to receiving trade offers for the star outfielder.
According to reliable sources, Soto turned down a $440 million, 15-year deal that would have become the most expensive in baseball history.
Earlier this year, Soto told ESPN that he had turned down a 13-year, $350 million contract before the lockout began. After the 2024 season, he will be able to sign a contract with another team.
According to The Athletic, which first reported on the most recent rejected contract offer and the Nationals’ openness to moves, some team officials no longer feel they will be able to reach a long-term deal with Soto.
It would be among the highest-paying contracts in baseball if Soto accepted an extension from the Nationals, according to ESPN sources. Based on 2022 earnings, the $29.3 million yearly salary offered by the Nationals would rank 15th.
Before Saturday’s game against the Atlanta Braves, Soto told reporters that he trusts his agency to handle contract discussions and that he intends to focus on playing baseball.
Before this month, Nationals president of baseball operations and general manager Mike Rizzo claimed that the team would not deal with Soto, who is 23 years old and a star player.
This is not a trade,” Rizzo said on June 1 to 106.7 The Fan. His agency and the player were informed, as was I.
Breaking: The Nationals are open to hearing trade offers for Juan Soto after the star turned down a 15-year, $440 million offer that would have been the largest contract in baseball history, according to a report in The Athletic. pic.twitter.com/AaIXBZ1rjG
— ESPN (@espn) July 16, 2022
In a Soto trade, the Nationals would be able to kick-start their rebuild. Losing for a third year in a row after winning the World Series this year, they are currently at the bottom of the National League East standings with a 30-62 record.
“I don’t want to keep losing,” Soto told reporters on Saturday, expressing his frustration with the team’s troubles.
There is also the possibility that the Lerner family, who has controlled the Nationals since 2006, may sell the team. The Learners indicated in April that they are considering selling the Nationals and have hired a group to find potential buyers to buy part or all of the franchise.
Soto has been named an All-Star for the second year in a row, but his batting average is at a career low. Twenty-seven home runs and 42 RBIs in eighty-nine contests in 2022. In the Home Run Derby on Monday, he is scheduled to take the field.
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