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#pounditFriday, September 30, 2022

Report: Nationals want to include struggling pitcher in Soto trade

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 could wind up trading Juan Soto before this year’s trade deadline, and any team hoping to acquire the 23-year-old phenom will reportedly need to take on starting pitcher Patrick Corbin’s contract.

The Nationals have already tried to extend Soto numerous times this year. After Soto reportedly rejected a recent 15-year, $440 million offer from the Nationals, it seems as if his days in Washington are numbered. The same could be said for Corbin.

According to The Athletic’s Jim Bowden, the Nationals will only move Soto if they get a package of multiple major league players and top prospects in return. Bowden also said that the Nationals want to “offload the bad contract” of Corbin.

Corbin, 29, signed a six-year, $140 million contract with Washington in 2018. While he did help the Nationals win the 2019 World Series, he has not quite lived up to his deal. In 94 starts with Washington, Corbin has a 29-42 record with a 4.73 ERA. He has been statistically one of the worst pitchers in MLB so far this season. Corbin has a 4-12 record with the league’s highest ERA (5.87), and has surrendered the most hits (134) and earned runs (65) of any major league pitcher.

As bad as Corbin has been recently, getting Soto for over two full seasons may be worth taking on Corbin’s contract. While he has only hit .250 with 43 RBI in 91 games this season, Soto is still getting on base at a good clip. He has a .405 OBP and a .901 OPS, and his 79 walks lead the majors. In 2021, Soto led the majors with 145 walks and a .465 OBP.

Multiple teams are expected to make offers for Soto, including one team that had some interest in signing Corbin in 2018.

H/T New York Post

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