As we all know, Scott Boras’ clients rarely sign extensions, especially ones like Juan Soto. Even though it is very likely that Soto will test the free agent market, it is still fun to think of potential ways to make him a National for life.
The best approach would be to offer a contract that is valued at more than Mike Trout’s $426.5 million deal. This deal would give Juan Soto and Scott Boras the biggest contract in baseball for now. This would include buying out Soto’s remaining three years of arbitration for approximately $50 million and then the remainder would be split over the following years. It is hard to pinpoint an exact number, but let’s theorize that 14 years for $427 million would get the job done.
That would be an average annual value of $30.5 million. This AAV is not something that would hold the team back and it would keep the best hitter in baseball in D.C. until 2036. As always, it takes two to tango and Boras only dances when he wants to, so the next scenario is much more likely.
Soto going to free agency is certainly the worst route for Nationals fans, but it seems to be the most inevitable. Once it gets to that point, any team in baseball will be able to compete with the Nats for Soto’s services.
If the 22-year-old slugger continues improving and producing at his current rate over the next three seasons, almost every team in baseball will be interested in signing him. This scenario is what Boras believes will happen.
Quickly, most teams will realize they cannot afford him and it will come down to teams like the Nationals, Dodgers, Yankees and a few other historically big spenders. Ideally, the Nationals will beat whatever other offers are out there and he will return, but a lot will have to go right for that to happen. First of all, Boras negotiating in good faith would help a lot.
Then, if the Nationals continue their decade-long run of being contenders, it could definitely help Soto want to stay in DC. Finally, the team will have to be in a good place financially. If some of the young arms in the minors can make a successful transition to Major League Baseball, Mike Rizzo and Co. will have extra room in the budget, that they traditionally ear marked for veteran free-agent pitchers like Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin. Another financial factor could be the potential new TV deal that would actually pay the Nats a fair market value for their broadcasting rights.
Those two things may be the most important for the Nationals in their pursuit of Juan Soto. Either way this is going to be a concern for Washington fans for years to come.
Mike Rizzo stated recently that he plans on talking with both Juan Soto and Trea Turner about a possible extension this Spring. Maybe they get lucky and things progress, but the Nationals will have to make a huge push to keep both of them.
Edited by: Jonathan Mailloux