Before the MLB lockout, the Nationals offered Juan Soto, who is only 23 and made his debut in the MLB in 2018, a contract extension that would see him there for 13 years and make a total of $350 million. He said no. The deal would have begun in the 2022 season and last until the end of 2034, when Soto will be 36. Other deals of about this size (Bryce Harper and the Phillies: 13 years, $330 million; Mookie Betts and the dodgers: 12 years, $365 million), have become more common over the past few years, but this is the first time anyone has turned down a deal of that size.
Why did Soto turn it down? Because it wasn’t enough. He will be up for free agency in 2024 at the age of 26, and he wants to receive the first $500 million dollar contract in sports.
Soto was the runner up in MVP voting to former teammate, Bryce Harper, last season (Go Phils), and in his career in the MLB he 98 homeruns and a batting average of .301, some of the best stats in baseball. Soto won a World Series in 2019 with the Nationals, the team he has played for his entire career. With the MLB still in lockout, though, (pitchers and catchers were supposed to being their spring training yesterday) it’s unlikely that any deals will get made before the season begins.