Nationals’ Juan Soto rejects massive 15-year, $440M contract extension: report

Nationals’ Juan Soto rejects massive 15-year, $440M contract extension: report

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Washington Nationals star Juan Soto reportedly rejected a massive contract extension offer from the team, and it appears he’s intent on testing the free agent waters after the 2024 season.

Soto has two more years of arbitration left before he can become a free agent. The Nationals’ efforts to keep the superstar slugging outfielder on the team as one of their cornerstones doesn’t seem to be going very well.

The Washington Nationals' Juan Soto, left, celebrates after scoring with Luis Garcia (2) in a game against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park July 9, 2022, in Atlanta. 

The Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto, left, celebrates after scoring with Luis Garcia (2) in a game against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park July 9, 2022, in Atlanta.  (Brett Davis/Getty Images)

The 23-year-old rejected a 15-year, $440 million offer that didn’t include any deferred money, The Athletic reported Saturday. 

The report noted that Soto is on track to become a free agent just ahead of his age-26 season and could command as much as $500 million on the open market.

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But the efforts to make Soto the cornerstone of their rebuild is falling flat.

A trade doesn’t appear to be off the table despite Scott Boras’ and general manager Mike Rizzo’s assertions to the contrary.

Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals runs to third against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park July 10, 2022, in Atlanta.

Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals runs to third against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park July 10, 2022, in Atlanta. (Brett Davis/Getty Images)

Unnamed MLB team executives told ESPN in May the Nationals could be “compelled” and “motivated” to deal Soto over the summer. 

Boras told the New York Post bluntly, “Forget Soto trade … not happening.” Rizzo added in a radio interview the team had “every intention of building around Soto” and wasn’t thinking of trading him.

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Soto and his agents at Boras Corporation decided to decline a 13-year, $350 million extension in the offseason, according to ESPN. He signed a one-year deal in the offseason in arbitration.

The Athletic on Saturday wrote “Juan Soto is available,” and that the Nationals would “entertain offers” for the young stud.

A trade for a player like Soto would cost a team a fortune in prospects.

Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals celebrates with teammates after hitting a three-run home run against the Seattle Mariners during game one of a doubleheader at Nationals Park July 13, 2022, in Washington, D.C 

Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals celebrates with teammates after hitting a three-run home run against the Seattle Mariners during game one of a doubleheader at Nationals Park July 13, 2022, in Washington, D.C  (Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Entering Saturday, Soto is hitting .247 with a .895 OPS and 19 home runs. He was selected for his second All-Star Game.

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The MLB trade deadline is Aug. 2.

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