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#pounditSunday, August 7, 2022

Articles tagged: Washington Nationals

Report: 1 AL team made major Juan Soto offer

Juan Soto smiling in the dugout

Jun 11, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Juan Soto (22) stands in the dugout during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Padres clearly were not the only team to aggressively pursue Juan Soto. In fact, one American League team made their own fairly significant offer early in the process.

The Seattle Mariners made a strong offer for Soto when the Washington Nationals initially made the outfielder available, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The Mariners led their offer with shortstops Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo, but putting forward the team’s two top prospects did not get them particularly close to adding Soto.

Marte and Arroyo were ultimately traded to the Cincinnati Reds as part of the package to acquire starting pitcher Luis Castillo.

If nothing else, this shows just how high the Nationals’ asking price was for Soto all along, and how few teams could have even met it. The Mariners were undoubtedly not alone in making what they felt was a strong offer that got them nowhere. Considering what Washington ended up getting for Soto, the approach worked out for them.

Juan Soto trade completion hinges on 1 veteran player

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 San Diego Padres have a trade in place to acquire Juan Soto from the Washington Nationals, but the deal ultimately hinges on one other veteran player’s decision.

The Nationals have agreed to take on the contract of Eric Hosmer as part of the deal in order to obtain a better package of prospects, according to multiple reports. However, Hosmer has a partial no-trade clause, and the Nationals are one of the ten teams on his no-trade list. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported Tuesday that Hosmer has not yet approved the trade, and that the Padres are likely trying to negotiate with him to make it happen.

Hosmer signed an eight-year, $144 million contract with the Padres after the 2017 season. Three years and $39 million remain on that deal from the end of the 2022 season. The Padres are trying to include Hosmer to avoid going over the luxury tax threshold, which would essentially be a certainty if they added Soto without offloading Hosmer. The Padres were close to moving Hosmer’s contract at the start of the season, but those efforts fell through at the last moment.

Typically, teams are willing to give players in Hosmer’s situation something extra in order to waive their no-trade clause. What Hosmer may ask of the Padres — and what the Padres are willing to do — is unknown. However, given the enormity and significance of the agreed deal, Hosmer probably holds a lot of cards right now.

Juan Soto traded to Padres in huge deal

Juan Soto in a uniform

May 16, 2022; Miami, Florida, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Juan Soto (22) runs to the dugout after the fourth inning against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot Park. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Padres on Tuesday won the Juan Soto sweepstakes.

The Padres acquired Soto and first baseman Josh Bell from the Washington Nationals. In return, the Padres are sending the Nationals a large group of prospects. The prospects include shortstop C.J. Abrams, outfielder James Wood, outfielder Robert Hassell and top pitching prospects MacKenzie Gore and Jarlin Susana. Abrams, Hassell and Gore are all former first-round picks.

The Padres’ acquisition of Soto certainly changes the face of the National League playoff race. Assuming Fernando Tatis Jr. returns healthy, San Diego will have an outstanding middle of the order that also includes Manny Machado. The Padres also appear to have managed to get the deal done without giving up any major contributors to their MLB roster.

San Diego was long viewed as the favorite to nab Soto. General manager A.J. Preller was determined to not get beaten on this deal, and his team now has the pieces to seriously challenge for a World Series.

Report: Nationals making final effort to keep 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

Juan Soto has easily been regarded as the most intriguing trade target on the market ahead of the Aug. 2 deadline, but the Washington Nationals may be making one final effort to keep him in the fold long term.

The Nationals intend to make one final contract offer to Soto prior to the trade deadline, according to MLB reporter Hector Gomez. If Soto rejects it, the Nationals plan to trade the outfielder.

Reports indicated that Soto previously turned down a 15-year, $440 million offer from the Nationals. Although the total amount is extremely high, the average annual value of just over $29 million would not have put Soto at the top of the list of the sport’s highest-paid players.

One team appears to be emerging as a frontrunner if Soto is traded. That may ultimately hinge on whether or not he takes the team’s final offer.

Nationals GM voices frustration with Juan Soto rumors

Juan Soto smiling in the dugout

Jun 11, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Juan Soto (22) stands in the dugout during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo is not pleased that reports and rumors about Juan Soto leaked just before the All-Star Game.

In an appearance on “The Junkies” on 106.7 The Fan Wednesday, Rizzo denied that either he or the Nationals’ front office had been behind the leak of the contractual terms Soto rejected. Rizzo added that the leak hurt the team, both in terms of its relationship with Soto and for trade deadline leverage.

While it doesn’t really matter who leaked the Soto contract, it’s certainly an interesting subplot. The team did not really have any reason to do so. Considering how upset Soto was by the reports, it seems unlikely that anyone extremely close to him would have done it either.

As for the trade deadline, the Nationals are fortunate that they have Soto under team control for two more seasons after this one. That allows them to set a firm asking price and stick to it with more minimal risk.

Nationals manager not happy with Victor Robles over clown nose stunt

Victor Robles clown nose

Victor Robles chose not to take the high road on Sunday night after Madison Bumgarner criticized him, and Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez clearly wishes the outfielder did.

Bumgarner blasted Robles and called him a “clown” after Robles admired a solo home run on Saturday night when his team was trailing 7-1 late. When the Nationals played their series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday night, Robles kept the storyline going by wearing a clown nose in the dugout.

Martinez was not a fan of the stunt. He told reporters after Washington’s 4-3 win that he was planning to speak with Robles about it.

One person who did appreciate the clown nose joke was LeBron James. The Los Angeles Lakers star shared a photo on Instagram of Robles wearing the nose and called it “something I would do for sure!” Robles was flattered by the shoutout.

That will probably be the last we hear of the Robles-Bumgarner feud. It was fun while it lasted.

Nationals reportedly have firm asking price in Juan Soto trade talks

Juan Soto smiling in the dugout

Jun 11, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Juan Soto (22) stands in the dugout during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals may trade Juan Soto before the Aug. 2 deadline, but only if another team is willing to pay up.

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Nationals are demanding as many as five “top youngsters” from teams interested in trading for Soto, with at least some of the package consisting of MLB-ready players. At this stage, the Nationals’ asking price is non-negotiable, and teams are being told to either meet it or move on.

The Nationals are quite justified in their asking price for Soto. He is one of the best hitters in baseball, is just 23, and is under contract for two more seasons after 2022. Even if he has turned down a contract extension with the team, there is no reason he should come at any sort of discount. The fact that he is on the market at all is remarkable.

One report indicated that seven teams have at least checked in on Soto. Clearly, none are close to meeting Washington’s asking price, at least not yet.

Report: 7 teams have made initial Juan Soto trade offers

Juan Soto smiling in the dugout

Jun 11, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Juan Soto (22) stands in the dugout during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals are having no trouble finding interested teams for outfielder Juan Soto.

Seven teams have already reached out to the Nationals for preliminary talks about a Soto trade, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Teams like the New York Yankees, New York Mets, and Los Angeles Dodgers are unsurprisingly mentioned as having talks with the Nats. The Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals, and San Francisco Giants have also had talks with the Nats. One of these teams had already been named as a potential frontrunner in Soto rumors.

Nightengale notes that the Nationals do not feel that they must move Soto prior to the trade deadline if the right deal does not come along.

What these initial offers might have looked like is unknown, but any team is going to have to give up a huge amount of assets to even have a chance of acquiring Soto. Teams may also have to be prepared to take on a bad contract to get the outfielder.

Soto is available after turning down a 15-year contract offer from the Nationals worth $440 million. He remains under team control for two more seasons after 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

Scott Boras upset Nats did not charter flight to All-Star Game for Juan Soto

Juan Soto smiling in the dugout

Jun 11, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Juan Soto (22) stands in the dugout during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The relationship between Juan Soto and the Washington Nationals is tenuous after it was revealed that the team could trade Soto before this year’s deadline. Soto’s agent Scott Boras is now unhappy with how Soto had to travel to the Home Run Derby on Monday, an issue that may have strained the relationship between both parties even further.

Soto reportedly rejected a 15-year, $440 million offer from the Nationals, and was not happy that information became public.

Speaking to the media on Monday, Boras expressed displeasure that Soto had to fly commercial on Sunday to Los Angeles and did not arrive until 1:30 am Monday for that night’s Home Run Derby. Boras talked about how unfair it was that Atlanta Braves players were chartered to the All-Star festivities while the Nationals declined to do so for Soto.

“All I know here is that the Atlanta Braves and Juan Soto played a game [Sunday],” Boras said via Sports Illustrated’s Stephanie Apstein. “The Atlanta Braves arrived here five hours earlier than Juan Soto did. You know why? Because their team chartered a plane. Juan Soto had to fly on a commercial flight and wait in an airport for two hours and get here at 1:30 in the morning and have to compete in the Home Run Derby. And that’s something that Major League Baseball did not take care of and that’s something that the Washington Nationals did not take care of.”

Any potential jet lag did not seem to effect Soto, who beat Julio Rodriquez 19-18 in the final round to win the derby.

The Nationals have already tried to extend Soto numerous times this year, and could be frustrated that the 23-year-old has turned down some pretty big offers. After Soto said no to a 13-year, $350 million deal in the offseason, the Nationals reportedly came back with an even bigger offer in late June for over $400 million.

Nationals ownership is looking to sell the team, and could be trying to keep their spending in check during the sales process. They might have also just figured that it was unreasonable to charter a flight for just one player since Soto was their lone All-Star. Comparatively, the Braves were sending six players to Los Angeles for the game. It makes more sense for them to charter a flight for a group of that size.

Whether the Nationals declined to give Soto a chartered flight to Los Angeles due to recent contract disputes or not, this latest addition to the saga between the two sides likely will not help rebuild the trust that has been lost between them.

H/T Yahoo Sports