Juan Soto says ‘it feels weird’ being a part of trade talks as Nationals star deadline approaches
In-demand Juan Soto says it “feels weird” to be a part of trade talks, despite the Nationals star turning down a massive $440 MILLION contract extension offer — with the San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals leading the chase to sign him by Tuesday’s deadline
- The outfielder has rejected multiple offers to extend his time in Washington
- The most recent would make him the highest paid player in baseball
- An exchange for the two-time All Star would require some prospects
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo could also see offers from the Blue Jays and Dodgers
As one of the biggest names on the list of potential transactions in Major League Baseball, Nationals star Juan Soto is still getting used to his name being thrown around in the media.
Trade talks continue to circulate ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline as the Dominican-born outfielder turned down multiple offers to stay in the country’s capital.
The winner of the 2022 Home Run Derby has received multiple contract renewal proposals, the most recent being a reported 15-year deal of $440 million.
That contract would have made Soto the highest paid player in baseball, overtaking the $426.5 million deal to Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout.
Juan Soto’s time in Washington could end very abruptly this week
Soto won the 2022 Home Run Derby as part of his second All-Star roster
Soto was a key contributor to the 2019 World Series-winning Nationals team
That contract offer rejection has set a rumor mill in MLB circles on fire as fans try to piece together potential trades to see if their favorite teams can land the slugger.
Soto is not blind to the constant rumors and speculation and seems to find it all a bit of a whirlwind.
Soto’s time in DC
Franchise Leader in On Base%, Custom OPS+, Offensive Win% (includes Expos stats)
8th in home runs, 9th in batting average
Two-time Silver Slugger winner, two-time All-MLB first team
Twice All Star
World Champion 2019
Speaking to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Soto noted how wild the rumors have gotten.
“It’s been crazy,” he told the reporter. “It feels weird to be in all those conversations. All these teams fighting for me, it was just crazy.
‘I feel good in the city, I [brought] here’s a championship. I am a winning player and I will do everything I can to win. I would like to stay here. I would be more than happy, but in the end I don’t make any decisions. I’m just here to play, to give my 100% every day on the pitch and everywhere I go.”
As for which teams are favorites to earn the money for Soto, according to reports, the San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals are among the favorite landing spots.
Baseball insiders have also raised the possibility of Soto being sent to the Toronto Blue Jays or Los Angeles Dodgers.
Washington will not be happy if Soto goes into the season without a fixed extension, as the 23-year-old has to undergo arbitration.
Despite only playing five seasons in the majors, Soto was one of the most influential players in Washington Nationals history.
His career batting average of .291 is ninth in franchise history, including when the team was known as the Montreal Expos.
Combining that time in Canada, Soto is still the franchise leader in metrics such as Base Rate, Offensive Win Rate, and Adjusted OPS+.
With any move that arises, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo will prioritize the future as Washington struggles at the bottom of the NL East division.
Reports show that the Nationals want multiple top players, and many believe that Rizzo will ask for between four and five good young players.
DC fans are prepared for the departure of one of the greatest players in franchise history
It’s up to Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo to find a suitable trade for his star player