He was the best hitter in the COVID-shortened 2020 season, dominating opposing pitching and registering impressive stats.
He led the league in batting average (.351), on-base percentage (.490) and slugging (.695).
Soto also added 13 home runs on top of that, being one of the league’s best blends of power and discipline.
Now, with San Diego Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. earning a 14-year deal, the focus has shifted to Soto.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 18, 2021
What kind of deal could the 22-year-old command if he signs an extension?
Predicting The New Deal
Over the last couple of years, the trend of signing young stars to long-term deals while they’re young has become popular.
Tatis earned his extension at just 22-years-old, while Ronald Acuña Jr. signed a large contract of his own at a young age.
However, Soto could walk away with even more money.
He has the reputation of being a dominant bat from the left-side of the plate, a skill that is in high demand.
Who else is ready for a .320/120/40/120/20 season from Juan Soto? pic.twitter.com/JcF8T5QTkx
— Eric Cross (@EricCross04) February 18, 2021
On top of that, Soto has projectable length to be dominant well into his 30s.
Because of this, he could easily be a candidate for a 10-plus year contract.
However, I think that he would opt for a shorter contract worth more money.
He also has the potential to earn $40 million a year, especially with his marketability and pure talent.
Another important thing to consider is Soto’s representation.
His agent is Scott Boras, the notoriously successful negotiator that never seems to give any ground on contract deals.
With him, Soto can expect to make the most money possible.
It also depends on whether he can remain healthy or not, something that has been on his side so far during his career.
In comparison, Tatis Jr. has dealt with some minor injuries throughout his career that may have played a role in his lower price tag.
Soto has widely avoided the injury bug, which could pay off in his contract.
Soto Will Become The Highest Paid Player
If he signs an extension in the next year, look for it to be for six-years and $255 million.
He will become the sport’s highest paid player, leading the way for the next increase in player salaries.
It is the perfect storm: a young superstar who is supremely talented with his entire career in front of him.
On top of that, he is the undisputed face of the Nationals franchise and they will want to keep him there.
The details of the contract could change depending on whether Soto values length over yearly amount.
However, he will have an impressive contract either way.
Does Soto Deserve It?
Yes, he certainly deserves to ink that large of a contract.
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) February 18, 2021
He is already one of the league’s best hitters, and he is just 22 years old.
To put that into perspective, he is still four years younger than the 2019 NL Rookie of the Year Pete Alonso.
He is also six years younger than Aaron Judge.
This is a historic level of production, especially when it appears that he is starting to get better.
We are watching a generational talent at the plate, and he deserves to be recognized with a major contract.