FanShot

The Washington Nationals’ future could hinge on this week

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The big dates in Washington baseball history roll off the tongues of the city’s baseball fans. Many are paved into the walkway leading up to the home plate entrance to Nationals Park, from 1859, when the city’s first professional baseball team was founded, to 2008, when the ballpark opened. Still others are etched in our hearts, like Stephen Strasburg’s major league debut on June 8, 2010, and the World Series championship on Oct. 30, 2019. Will July 16, 2022, when the Nationals started playing playing contract hardball with Juan Soto, or July 17, 2022, when they elected outfielder Elijah Green with the fifth selection in the amateur draft, find their way onto that honored timeline? Soto, the team’s 23-year-old All-Star, turned down a reported $440 million over 15 years, less than he’ll likely make on the open market. Now we’re waiting to learn whether the Nationals will make him another offer or trade him, two and a half seasons before he can become a free agent.