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#pounditFriday, September 30, 2022

Report: Nationals make huge contract extension offer to Juan Soto

Juan Soto in a Nats hat

Jul 30, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Juan Soto (22) in the dugout before the game against the Chicago Cubs at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals are apparently ramping up their efforts to keep Juan Soto for the long term.

On Thursday, Z101 reporter Hector Gomez reported via Twitter that talks between the two sides on a potentially huge contract extension are heating up.

Prior to this past offseason’s MLB lockout, Soto turned down a 13-year, $350 million offer from Washington and said that he preferred to go year-to-year with his contract before he hits free agency after the 2024 season. According to Gomez, Washington’s latest offer to Soto blows their first one out of the water.

“Talks are intensifying between the #Nationals and Juan Soto regarding a second offer from the team to the star for a 13-years, $425 million extension, which will increase the initial $350 million offer by $75 million,” Gomez wrote.

It’s possible that this reported offer from the Nationals could give Soto some pause about waiting until free agency for his big payday. The Nationals’ latest offer would fall just short in overall monetary value of the record-breaking 12-year, $426.5 million extension that Mike Trout signed with the Los Angeles Angels prior to the 2019 season. While Soto, 23, has proven his value as one of the game’s premier hitters since he broke into the league in 2018, he could choose to jump at the deal given his slow start to the 2022 season.

In 76 games this season, Soto is hitting .224 with 14 home runs, 32 RBI and a .375 OBP. His 63 walks lead the majors.

The Nationals have Soto under team control for two more years. They have made it known that they do not plan to trade him. While the Nationals have gotten off to a brutal 29-49 record to start the season, it looks like they have every intention of keeping Soto for when the team becomes competitive again.

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