Juan Soto rejects an offer of $440 million; Citizens will explore trade

Suspension

The Washington Nationals team will consider trading Juan Soto this month after turning down a recently made 15-year, $440 million offer, according to four people familiar with the matter. Soto, the 23-year-old superstar, could reach free agency after the 2024 season, which means the Nationals can keep him for the rest of this season and the season after. But the suspicion of keeping him long-term has prompted the club at least to make commercial offers before August 1. 2 deadlines.

The Nationals’ latest show came near the beginning of July, according to two people familiar with the timing. It does not include deferment of payment, according to two people familiar with the terms, which also happened with offers to Soto in November and May. Once Athletic reported the numbers and citizens’ intentions on Saturday, Soto was frustrated that the situation – and the uncertainty surrounding it – was in the public eye.

“It feels really bad to see things like this because I am a guy who keeps everything on my side,” Soto said before Saturday’s game against the Atlanta Braves, a 6-3 loss that ended after 109 minutes of rain in Game Eight. Soto scored twice and scored in Josh’s hat-trick. Bale. But even with five hits between Soto and Bale, the Braves moved forward with back-to-back Matt Olson and Austin Riley of Paulo Espino in 3. The Nationals (30-63) dropped nine in a row, 15 of the last 16 and were 1-14 in July.

“I keep everything calm and try to keep it fair [to] I,” Soto continued. “But they just [made] decision and do whatever they need to do.”

“When things like that come out that are personal, it annoys people. Director Dave Martinez said after Soto implied that the organization had leaked the show.” But he has to understand that this is part of the game, right? We’ve all experienced it at some point.”

While $440 million would be the largest contract in sports history in terms of total value, an annual value of $29.3 million would rank 20th. Soto looks for each of the double-digit years And the The average annual value is much higher, according to several people familiar with his camp’s thinking. When Trout signed his extension with the Angels in March 2019, he was 27 years old and had set records for gross ($426.5 million) and AAV (about $36 million). Trout is still the highest paid player in baseball.

Citizens are not expected to increase their bid in the near future, according to two people familiar with the negotiations. Soto’s side did not offer a counteroffer, according to three people familiar with the discussions. Another big factor, of course, is the potential change in ownership and whether buyers prefer to make their own decisions about trading Soto before his team runs out of control or a huge deal is reached.

“I mean, at the end of the day, you’ll get what you deserve. We all know that,” Martinez said of what he was planning to tell Soto. “And as for me, I hope he is here. Because I love the child. I never think he is anything other than a citizen of Washington.”

Shortly before Soto’s talk on Saturday, his veteran teammate asked one of the club’s hostesses if there were additional Soto shirts to give to his children. A few hours later, fans in attendance received a Star Wars-themed Soto bobblehead. On Monday, he will participate in the Home Run Derby at Dodger Stadium. On Tuesday, he will be the only player to represent the last Nationals in the All-Star Game.

Soto has always been the main attraction here. It will be somewhere else, too. By many measures, he’s one of baseball’s most exciting players, one of the best hitters, and one of the best candidates to build a franchise around him. But since he’s proven a talent for generations, the specter of the open market — and his record agent, Scott Borras, who takes most clients there — looms large over any discussions about his future in Washington.

After the Nationals made a 15-year bid, Soto and general manager Mike Rizzo met at Nationals Park, according to three people who declined to share details of the conversation. That was right before Rizzo and Martinez’s options were exercised for next year, easing some of the instability around the team. Other than that, Soto’s negotiations have taken place with the Lerner family to explore selling the club – and through a poor first half on the field, which is expected to lead to another sale by deadline.

On July 1, Soto was open to further discussions of the contract, telling the Washington Post that he would give up the opportunity to become a free agent if the numbers were correct. Then on Saturday, in his grimest state with reporters, he repeated those sentiments in a less convincing manner. At that moment, before another loss, the Nationals were 27 games behind the first-placed New York Mets in the Eastern National League (and 14 times behind the fourth-placed Miami Marlins). The Braves soon crushed their 30th and 31st players in 12 games against Washington. And it is very appropriate, also poured it.

“For me, that was the team I was on [with] Since, what, 2015? Soto said. “I have been with this team and I feel good about it. As I get to know more about the city, I feel great. Why do I need to change? “

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