Much like how the Oakland Athletics wanted to send pitcher Paul Blackburn to the All-Star Game on a commercial flight, the Washington Nationals did the same with star outfielder Juan Soto in the middle of negotiations for a contract extension.
Soto rejected a $440 million contract extension offer for the next 15 years, something that the Nationals perhaps weren’t expecting.
They may be mad about that, and they sure are disappointed.
Now, the Nats might make one last offer and if the player doesn’t take it, he will be placed on the trade block.
Soto’s agency confirmed that low move that the Nationals performed.
“Juan Soto’s agent confirmed that the Washington Nationals “refused” to charter him a flight to the Home Run Derby, after he rejected their $440M contract extension. Soto flew commercial, arrived in LA at 1:30 a.m, then won the Derby,” Front Office Sports tweeted.
Juan Soto's agent confirmed that the Washington Nationals "refused" to charter him a flight to the Home Run Derby, after he rejected their $440M contract extension.
Soto flew commercial, arrived in LA at 1:30 a.m, then won the Derby.
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) July 20, 2022
The Nationals Aren’t Helping Themselves
The Nationals are the little boy that owns the ball, gets mad with the other children, and doesn’t let anybody else play because he is angry.
Their message appears to be “we are mad that you didn’t accept our great proposal, so now, you are going to get a commercial flight to go to the Derby as opposed as a charter as punishment.”
If they want to lock up the superstar outfielder, this is definitely not the way to go.
Soto is worth way more than $29.3 million per season.
Lots of worse players who were older and less accomplished at the time of signing are making more than that.
Whether the Nationals like it or not, Soto has all the leverage: he is already making serious money, not near the league minimum, and he will only get more expensive by the day.
We may see one of the very best players in baseball get traded in the next few days.