On Tuesday evening, Bleacher Report published an article outlining how talks of a contract extension with superstar Juan Soto didn’t get far this offseason.
By now, we’re all familiar with Fernando Tatis, Jr.’s, 14-year, $340 million extension, prompting many fans to speculate when — and how much — Soto is going to get paid.
Though there aren’t any specifics outlined in the article, the easiest assumption to make is that the Nationals offer to Soto was south of what Tatis ultimately received. Fans hate to hear about failed contract extension talks; it, of course, doesn’t necessarily mean anything. But the prospect of potentially creating friction between a team’s star player and the organization is an unsettling notion.
While all appearances indicate that there is no love lost between the front office and Soto (and I’m not suggesting anything to the contrary), fans will eagerly await the news that the two have reached a decision about the slugger’s future in the nation’s capital. But Soto, who’s currently 22, won’t see his current contract expire until the end of the 2024 season, meaning both sides have time to wait.
From the team’s perspective, they’d like to get the deal done as soon as possible, assuming — probably rightfully — that they’d be able to secure Soto long-term for fewer total dollars right now than they’d be able to two or three years from now, particularly if his trajectory stays the way it is. From Soto’s perspective, he’s banking on himself, with the understanding that with each passing season’s performance, he stands to make that much more money in the long run.
The expectation is that the front office will ultimately work out a deal for Soto, but whatever he wants, he’s going to get. Rising in tandem with Tatis, the pair stand to be the heirs apparent of Major League Baseball’s faces of the game. With the excitement they unleash by virtue of who they are, I couldn’t imagine a better duo to reign supreme over the nation’s pastime, nor could I imagine two players more deserving of their contracts (or, in Soto’s case, potential contract).