They are making an effort: that can’t be denied.
But Soto is an incredibly expensive player, the kind that comes along once or twice in a generation.
At the tender age of 23, he has a World Series ring (with incredible contributions from him), two Silver Slugger awards, a batting title, two All-Star berths, and now a Home Run Derby trophy.
Some of the top prospects in the game are older than that, and they haven’t even sniffed the majors.
Soto is yet to enter his prime, and has an unmatched talent for taking a major league at-bat.
That’s why he can reject a $440 million contract offer.
Soto Is Going To Command A Record Contract
The Nats offered that for 15 years, and the player feels the average annual value (AAV) of $29.3 million is too low.
“Scott Boras on Juan Soto’s market value: ‘He’s at the top, he is the best of the best, nobody in his first four years has had the success that he has had at that age, he is a great value for any franchise. We’ll see which team will pay what he is worth’, per @AbriendoJuego,” MLB insider Hector Gomez tweeted.
Scott Boras on Juan Soto's market value: "He's at the top, he is the best of the best, nobody in his first four years has had the success that he has had at that age, he is a great value for any franchise. We'll see which team will pay what he is worth", per @AbriendoJuego. pic.twitter.com/wqDsX5ecKU
— Héctor Gómez (@hgomez27) July 19, 2022
The key words here are the following: “We’ll see which team will pay what he is worth.”
Boras, Soto’s agent, knows that the Nationals may or may not be able to meet that asking price.
The player himself understands that there is a chance his long-term home isn’t Washington, and while he loves the city, he seems to be at peace with that.
There is a non-zero chance he is traded before the deadline, but the acquiring team is not obligated to extend him right away: he has two-and-a-half seasons of team control before reaching free agency.
He is set for a historic, record-setting contract.